How do I get a tribal ID card?

The process may be slightly different for each tribe, and it depends on whether you are already enrolled with the tribe. PLEASE NOTE: Requests for tribal ID cards no longer go through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), whose California office is based in Sacramento, CA; these requests now go directly to the tribe to which you will be returning.

If neither you nor your parents enrolled with your tribe, the basic steps for getting a tribal ID card are as follows:

First, you need the name of the tribe to which you are returning.The best next step is to call or write your tribe’s enrollment department, and ask if they have enrollment forms and instructions; if so, ask them to send these to you.Send the tribe as many details as possible about your family history and tribal ancestry (and if applicable, use the forms they sent you).

You will need to give the tribe as many details about your ancestry as possible — not just your parents’ information, but also information about your grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, great-great-great grandparents, and so on. Include information about your family tree and history as far back as you can.

If you or your parents ARE enrolled with your tribe, the basic steps for getting a tribal ID card are as follows:

Contact the tribe’s enrollment department directly, and they will likely be able to assist you in a getting a copy of your tribal ID card.Follow any instructions given to you by the tribe.

Note: The process for obtaining a tribal ID card is much easier if you or one of your parents is enrolled in the tribe.