I'm currently homeless and need a license for work. I do not want to go to a shelter or request help from friends or family. Yet, the local DMV will not let me apply for a driver's license without an address. Is there any way around this?

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    Colorado. colorado.gov/pacific/dmv/proof-address. Sleeping in a snow fort in the woods. I use a p.o. box to receive mail. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 19:26
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    I presume that a USPS p.o. box doesn't qualify as "physical address," although I don't see that mentioned on the linked page. You might be able to rent a post office box at a private mail facility, and use that address with "Suite 1532" or whatever instead of "Box 1532." Otherwise, I suppose your only option is to do what you say you don't want to do: get someone to accept your mail, or follow the instructions for homeless applicants on the linked page. I suppose this is just another example of the idiocy of the Real ID act.
    – phoog
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 19:43
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    A postmaster might be able to provide the letter from the government entity. I would print the requirement and try talking to the local postmaster. Sometimes the USPS is really helpful and sometimes they are really cranky. You then might be able to talk the DMV into accepting it.
    – Tom
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 22:28
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    You don't want friends, family, or a shelter to help you. You sound like the type of person Colorado doesn't want getting a drivers license in their state. If you think I'm harsh, reality is harsh, yes it is.
    – jqning
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 1:55
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    Documents presented to the DMV must include the applicant’s name, full residential address and be dated within one year. A private mail facility is not a residential address.
    – jqning
    Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 16:16

2 Answers 2


While Colorado does issue driver's licenses to homeless individuals, as you identified in your question, you need the help of a homeless shelter. I can see from your questions that you're reluctant to seek help from family, friends, or a shelter; however, I do not see a lawful way around Colorado's residency requirement without their assistance.

Under C.R.S. § 42-2-107(1)(a)(II), the DMV cannot issue a driver's license

"until [it] verifies all facts relative to such applicant's right to receive an instruction permit or minor driver's or driver's license including the age, identity, and residency of the applicant."

Here is a link to Colorado's statutes. Unfortunately, I can't link to the specific provision cited above.

The administrative rules further explain what is required for the department to verify residency. The regulations also talk about the exception for homeless people and specifically state that

"Proof of residency documents are waived, if an applicant provides a letter on letterhead, signed by the director of a homeless shelter, certifying that the individual is homeless and stays at the shelter." 1 Colo. Code Regs. § 204- 30:16-2.12.

Under the law and applicable registration, you cannot give a PO Box as your residence. You must give an actual address that you are supposed to be residing at. I don't know your individual circumstances; however, you might find it easier to stay at a friends house long enough to get your driver's license.

Hope this is helpful to you.


Check out this video by Will Prowse: https://youtu.be/GFIwYY3QD3s

In short, getting a private mailbox is the solution for you. He explains that there are certain things, such as W-2 (wage and tax statement) forms, that you cannot get shipped to a PO box but CAN receive through a private mailbox.

The UPS website (https://www.theupsstore.com/mailboxes) says that with one of their "personal mailboxes" you get "a street address, not a P.O. Box number".

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    There is a requirements for a full residential address. Mailing addresses are not the same at all.
    – user4657
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 7:46

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