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The Documents of American Life

Necessary Paper. Once you begin your life in the United States, whether as a legal immigrant or illegal alien, you will need certain basic documents for identification and other purposes.

Driver’s License. Used as basic identification. See the section on Transportation.

Social Security Card. Necessary for work and as a record keeping number for banks, credit cards, the IRS, colleges and in many other areas. See Making a Living in the USA.

Proof of Residence. Often telephone and utility bills with your name and address on them. Apartment leases can also be used. See Living in an American Community.

Bank Accounts. These include passbooks for savings accounts, checkbooks for checking accounts, and bank-cards for using automatic teller machines (ATM’s). See Personal Finance in America.

Credit Cards. Applied for through banks, department stores and other merchants. See Personal Finance in America.

Insurance Documents. Health insurance is covered in Medical Care.

Student Identification. Provided by schools and student organizations. See Education in America.


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