Can I Visit Someone in Jail if my ID is Expired?

By Prison Insight Staff

Updated: March 11, 2020

When you have a loved one locked up in the county jail, visiting them is extremely important. The days crawl by at a snail’s pace when you are sitting in a jail cell, so it’s nice to mix things up and do something different for an hour each week. 

But, it’s about more than getting out of your jail cell. Hearing your name called for a visit can be the best feeling in the world. Knowing that someone loves and supports you and will take hours out of their weekend to come see you is the kind of thing that gets one through your time on the inside.

When you go to visit someone in jail, there are a lot of rules. They are very strict about what you wear, they limit what you can bring with you, and you always must bring a photo ID so you can check in with the jail guards. What if that ID is expired? This leads us to today’s blog post: can I visit someone in jail if my ID is expired? 

In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:

  • What form of photo ID is acceptable at a jail visit?
  • What can you bring with you to a jail visit?
  • Do minor visitors need ID for a jail visit?

What form of photo ID is acceptable at a jail visit?

When you present a photo ID to a guard for a visit check-in, it must be current. No, they do not accept expired forms of identification, but they do accept a variety from adult visitors 18 years of age and older. 

A driver’s license is the most common form of ID that people bring, but they will also accept a state-issued photo ID card. 

You can also bring a valid passport or a military ID. Some facilities will accept an employment ID card with a photo plus a recent pay stub. For non-citizens, they accept a resident alien or permanent resident card issued by the United States Department of Justice. 

What can you bring with you to a jail visit?

In my experience, the jail visits were non-contact. Since my visitor and I were separated by thick glass and had to talk via a telephone, they didn’t have restrictions on what you could bring with you. However, they do recommend that you keep everything you don’t need in your vehicle.

Your car keys and photo ID is really all you need, as most jail visits only last about an hour. If the visit is contact, you can bring change for the vending machines. If the visit is non-contact, there’s no need to bring money because you can’t buy snacks during the visit. 

However, some jails allow you to put money on your inmate’s books with a check or cash when you visit. Some jails do have a kiosk in the lobby where you can add money to your inmate’s books with a credit or debit card.

If you have an infant, you are usually allowed to bring diapers and bottles, and other essential baby items. If you need to bring medication, they will usually allow you to bring one dose in the proper container and an officer must be notified.

You should be aware that if you attempt to bring any contraband to a visit to give to an inmate, it is a crime and you will be arrested. This means items that are both legal and illegal. Drugs, cigarettes, phones, electronic devices, etc…anything an inmate isn’t allowed to have access to. It’s absolutely not worth it.

If you have any questions about what you can bring to a visit, contact the jail where your loved one is incarcerated.

Do minor visitors need ID for a jail visit?

If the jail allows minor visitors, they will need an ID. Most jails restrict minors to the children of the inmate, so they need to bring a birth certificate or a school ID if they are under 18. No one will be allowed into a visit with the proper form of identification.

Have you visited someone in jail? What was the experience like? Let us know in the comments below.



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