Parents encouraged to obtain state IDs for kids

Staff report

COLUMBUS — National Missing Children’s Day was May 25, and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) wants to remind parents of the tools available to assist in a quick recovery should a child be reported missing or abducted.

When a child is reported missing, the first few minutes and hours are crucial. Parents must have accurate and current information about the child, including photographs.

The BMV can issue State Identification (ID) cards, which include a digital photograph, to children of any age. The photographs and information can be quickly accessed by law enforcement if a child is reported missing or abducted. When a State ID is issued, the photos become part of a statewide Operator’s License/Identification database and can be readily accessed by law enforcement officials through the Ohio Attorney General’s secure Web site, the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway.

“Having an identification card on record can be an invaluable tool in the safe recovery of a child, and the Ohio BMV encourages all parents to bring their children to one of our more than 190 locations statewide to obtain a State ID card,” said Ohio BMV Registrar Don Petit.

When the initial report of a missing or abducted child is made, his or her State ID photo can be transmitted to law enforcement and media outlets statewide. If necessary, within minutes, the digital photo can also be sent to sheriff’s departments, Ohio State Highway Patrol cruisers, the Ohio Missing Children’s Clearinghouse, Ohio AMBER Plan, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

An Ohio BMV-issued state ID card costs only $8.50 and is valid for up to four years. Parents of very young children may want to renew photos annually. Additional information is available on the Ohio BMV Web site: The website also lists important information regarding what documents parents or guardians must bring for themselves and their children to prove their identity when applying for a State ID card.

Staff report