Visiting your loved one while they are in the county jail is extremely important. When you’re sitting in a cell, life goes by at a snail’s pace, so it’s nice to spend an hour a week mixing things up and doing something different.
But it’s not just about getting out of the cell. Hearing your name visit may be the best feeling in the world. Knowing that someone loves you and supports you, and will spare a few hours on the weekend to see you, is the kind of thing that takes your inner time.
When you visit someone in prison, there are a lot of rules. They are very strict about your attire, they limit what you can bring, and you have to carry photo ID at all times so you can register with the prison guards. What if the ID has expired? Which leads to today’s blog post: Can I visit someone in prison if my ID has expired?
In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:
- What forms of photo ID are acceptable for prison visits?
- What can I bring to a prison visit?
- Do underage visitors need to show ID to visit the prison?
What forms of photo ID are acceptable for prison visits?
When you present your photo ID to the guards for access registration, it must be current. No, they don’t accept expired ID, but they do accept a variety of ID for adult visitors 18 and over.
A driver’s license is the most common form of identification people carry, but they also accept state-issued photo ID.
You may also bring a valid passport or military ID. Some facilities will accept photo employment ID cards and recent pay stubs. For non-citizens, they accept a resident alien or permanent resident card issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.
What can I bring to a prison visit?
In my experience, prison visits are contactless. Since my visitors and I are separated by thick glass and have to talk on the phone, they have no restrictions on what you can bring. However, they do recommend leaving everything you don’t need in the car.
You really only need your car keys and photo ID, as most prison visits only last about an hour. If the visit is linked, you can bring change for the vending machines. If the visit is contactless, there is no need to bring money, as snacks cannot be purchased during the visit.
However, some prisons allow you to deposit money into an inmate’s books by check or cash during a visit. Some prisons have a kiosk in the lobby where you can top up an inmate’s ledger with a credit or debit card.
If you have a baby, you can usually bring diapers and bottles along with other essential baby items. If you need to bring medication, they will usually allow you to bring a dose in an appropriate container and you must notify the officer.
You should know that if you attempt to bring any contraband to a prisoner on a visit, it will be a crime and you will be arrested. This means items that are both legal and illegal. Drugs, cigarettes, phones, electronic devices, etc… anything that prisoners are not allowed to touch. It’s definitely not worth it.
If you have any questions about what you can bring to a visit, please contact the prison where your loved one is being held.
Do underage visitors need to show ID to visit the prison?
If the prison allows minors to visit, they will need to show identification. Most prisons limit minors to children of inmates, so if they are under 18, they will need to bring a birth certificate or student ID. No one will be permitted visitation with proper forms of identification.
Have you visited anyone in prison? What kind of experience is it? Let us know in the comments below.