Cherokee Nation Issues 100,000th Citizenship Photo ID Card

Cherokee Nation citizen Terry Shook, left, stands with Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden after Shook became the 100,000th tribal citizen to receive a photo ID citizenship card.

Published December 1, 2017

TAHLEQUAH  — The Cherokee Nation issued its 100,000th photo ID citizenship card Wednesday, just more than five years after unveiling the new cards for tribal citizens.

Cherokee Nation citizen Terry Shook, a 58-year-old Siloam Springs resident, received the 100,000th photo ID and expects to use it for traveling and tribal services.

“I’m a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Springdale and took a vacation day – one of the few I  ever get to take during the holidays – to come over and get a photo ID,” Shook said.

Cherokee Nation began issuing photo IDs in its Registration Department in October 2012 and has traveled to Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Washington, D.C., to issue them to at-large citizens.

“We’ve issued a Cherokee Nation photo identification card to almost one-third of our 350,000-plus tribal citizens, and that is a significant achievement,” Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden said. “Over the past five years, the tribe’s Registration Department has traveled to 11 states and Washington, D.C., so our at-large citizens also have the opportunity to receive a photo ID. They are not only useful for traditional photo ID needs such as traveling, but have also proven effective when used for tribal services. Having a Cherokee Nation photo ID is a source of pride for our people, and I would encourage all citizens to check into getting one at their earliest convenience.”

The tribe’s upgraded photo ID citizenship cards are similar in appearance to a driver’s license and feature the citizen’s Cherokee Nation registration number, photo and signature along with the official registrar signature, the Principal Chief’s signature and a distinctive Cherokee Nation hologram seal for validation. Citizens can opt for their official Bureau of Indian Affairs Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) on the back of the card.

Photo IDs are free, but replacement IDs are $5 each.

To upgrade to a photo ID “blue card,” visit the Cherokee Nation Registration Department from 8:15 a.m. – noon and 1-4:45 p.m. Monday-Friday at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave., in Tahlequah. Children 18 and under can also get a photo ID card but must have a parent or legal guardian present.

For more information, call 918-456-6980 or 1-800-256-0671, or email

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