Having personal identification documents, like the state ID or birth certificate, makes life a lot easier. However, for the poor, it can be tough scraping up even a relatively small amount of money to purchase it. For ex-offenders, it can be really tough starting a new life without ID. However, in some communities, there may be financial help if you are poor and need ID.
If you live in the Toledo area, the Zepf Center has an online list of resources, including places that can help you get personal ID. This includes Catholic Charities, which helps ex-offenders released in the last 90 days (Ohio birth certificates only). Call 419-244-6711 for more information. Helping Hands of St. Louis/St. Vincent de Paul (East Toledo residents only), 443 Sixth St, Toledo, 419-691-0613, 2nd/4th Wednesdays of month 9-11AM as funding available, photo ID/proof of residency and income required, assistance limited to once per year. See the Zefp website for more information.
What if you live elsewhere? Once again, 211 to the rescue! If you have a 211 service in your area, call them for the information, or call any referral and information number that they list. If you search for 211 services by community on this website, and your city has one, it will show if they have an online, searchable website (by listing “search for community services”), and if they do, search for the word “identification.” This should bring up everything under the heading: “Identification card fee payment assistance.” This is a heading in 211 listings for organizations that help you pay for obtaining identification documents, like state ID or birth certificates. If you look in this heading, you will find organizations that will help you with this.
If you’re an ex-offender, organizations dedicated to re-entry may point you in the right direction. In Ohio, check out the local re-entry coalition organization near you. If you live elsewhere, try this national listing of organizations to be referred for help.