Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

No photo ID for him so how do we get him help he needs?

My grandson has paranoid schizophrenia. He is willing to get help but no one will see him since he has no photo ID and refuses to get his picture taken. We have asked mental health facilities and doctor offices what to do. They don’t know but they wont see him. It makes no sense. He’s sliding into a crisis and no one will help him get the right meds or at least monitor what the hospital gave him. The hospital doesn’t want him back. They say just take him to a psychiatrist. we are trying but they won’t see him without the photo ID. It’s like a dog chasing its tail. His mom has a Power of Attorney for him but none of the doctor’s offices are willing to take that. Social Security accepted it. The bank accepted it to open him an account but the people who are supposed to be helping him get better won’t accept it!

My daughter goes to the NAMI classes but no one there knows the answer either. So for right now he has stopped taking his regular meds that won’t stop the voices. He wasn’t sleeping so his primary care dr gave him Seraquil to sleep. Now he’s misusing that so he sleeps all the time. We need to get him to a psychiatrist. How do we do that without the picture ID?

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Birth certificate, affadavit from Mom, combined with yearbook photo are my suggestions. The DMV accepts that.


And here DMV issues a photo id that isn’t a driver’s license. Maybe its that way everywhere?


Drag him by the ear to DMV or other state office to get him a no drivers ID. It’s ridiculous that this is being used as an obstacle by professional caregivers! Nonetheless, if it’s something that has to be done, insist on it. Tell your son that NOBODY likes to get their picture at the DMV. It’s something, that as an adult, we have to do.

Do you live in the U.S.? Otherwise, this advice may be useless.

Good luck!


When someone is being difficult about giving me something Jeb needs, I just tell them, “trust me, you don’t want Jeb coming here, it can be bad, really bad. He’s caused people to lock their business doors and call the police. I am trying to help you”.


I work at a doctor’s office and we would never refuse to see someone because they don’t have a photo id. We ask for id but some people simply do not have one.


Any chance he has a passport? I’m sure you’ve already thought of that but that is all my son has…

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Do they tell you why they need a photo id? If it is “because of HIPAA” they need to go back and actually read the law as well as the privacy act that ACA frequently refers to. Nowhere does it demand anyone produce an ID. Insurance companies do not require it for claim payment either. Typically the ID is used as a prevention against identity theft (The irony–by handing over your ID, you are actually making it easier for someone in the medical office to steal your identity). and to assist in skip traces. It has no value in medical treatment. It is required picking up narcotic drugs, but that is due to narcotic regulations.
I am a HIPAA compliance officer at a small practice and worked on collections and can tell you way too often people quote office policy as law. Drives me up a wall.

Remind them of their liability in refusing treatment of a person in crisis because of office policy might not go well for them. Filing a complaint with the AMA sometimes gets action too, but it puts you in an adversarial relationship which in the long run might not be worth it.


I don’t think so as it is all about money, they want traceability to who WILL PAY…

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Yep is sure is all about money.
However, if the provider is accepting the insurance you have, complaints can be filed which impacts network participation. This is especially true if Federal dollars are involved in reimbursement. If private pay, complaints with AMA or legal action if you feel refusal of care caused further injury, are your recourse.
I see the docs side too as unpaid bills can be a problem, but there are plenty of work arounds such as payment before being taken back to see the doctor.
Sometimes we really have to be a squeaky wheel to get the care our loved ones need—especially in the face of bureaucratic ignorance.
That said, I am only talking about “photo id requirement”.

Seroquel is an antipsychotic med. So, he’s already taking his meds.

Why does his primary care physician have no problem seeing him without i.d. but the psych staff won’t see him?

As for photo i.d., did he have a high school i.d. card? We had to wear ours to school, and they had our photo on them. Why couldn’t the psych staff accept that i.d.? That’s what my parents used for me the first time, because I didn’t have a driver’s license.

He won’t leave the house to go anywhere that has people he doesn’t know. So, he won’t go to the DMV and he won’t allow his picture to be taken. He was in home hospital for school so no yearbook picture. I appreciate the attempt to help though.

He won’t go to the DMV. He won’t let anyone take his picture.

I’m not sure I quite have the hang of replying to posts here! I will learn. First, thank you to all that replied. He has agoraphobia and sociophobia so leaving the house is stressful. Being around people is stressful. So he won’t go to the DMV. He also refuses to allow his picture to be taken. This isn’t a matter of him being a spoiled brat. It’s a matter of documented phobias so we have to respect them and somehow work around them.
He didn’t attend high school so no yearbook picture. His last picture was taken for an ID in junior high but he found it and hid it or destroyed it.

He’s on Medicaid so his bills are paid so the “who will pay” thing isn’t an issue. Getting in to see a psychiatrist to prescribe the correct meds and monitor them is our main issue. I will make note the question about why is an ID required. Maybe if we talk to his Medicaid worker she can okay it somehow at her end without an ID.

He takes the Seroquil to sleep. The primary care giver didn’t prescribe it for his Schizophrenia. I worry he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Even he (the dr) doesn’t want to be responsible for his special meds, just general medications for simple things. We have requested he find a psychiatrist who will take him since the primary care doctor can vouch for the young man’s identity. Naturally, we have to wait forever to hear back from him.
Thank you all for your help. I will check out all suggestions.

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Yes but that is a state ID…and needs a picture.

Yes, I would get in touch with his insurance on the back of his insurance card. Most mental health professionals do not take medicaid…however the set you up with United health care or some insurance company that Medicare pays to. They have been very supportive to my daughter. You could also check to see if your area has a community health care. They have caseworkers who work miricles. They could be a go-between with DVM…stop by snap a pic and that’s that. It takes a long time for someone to accept they are ill.

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average wait time in the community health care place is 2 -3 hours in the lobby then the time in the office with the health care worker. That won’t happen. I realize this sounds picky but he allows 15 wait time in the lobby then he gets up and walks out. By that time his face is flushed and he’s extremely aggitated so we have to get out before he scares people. He keeps trying but he just can’t tolerate being out of his comfort zone for that long.

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Has he ever had a drivers license? Because you can renew them by mail, using an existing picture.

I hear you about waiting rooms. When I brought my loved one to the “crisis center” in our town, it turned out to be our regular ER where we would have to wait a long time to be seen. Good luck keeping a paranoid sz who is there only reluctantly to sit in a room filled w strangers for an hour or more. What are they thinking?
In your case, it might be best to have him brought to the hospital by ambulance to get a faster admit. Although, I’m not sure how you can get to that pint.

My son isn’t quite as bad as yours, but I’ve had to let him sit in the car & smoke while I waited in the doctor’s office for them to call him back many, many times. I’ve also had his doctor’s office let us wait in another room by ourselves before when I didn’t feel like it was safe to leave him in the car by himself.

Can you schedule an appt first thing in the morning or last thing in the afternoon to minimize the wait - and explain the issue to them?

My son now goes to our community mental health clinic & they don’t make you wait long. They even have a sign up that says if you’ve waited 10 minutes past your appt without getting called back to go back to reception.

Slw, This sounds like my son but he is presently a little better about it. So I guess it can change for N’s son also.