Do you use a medical ID?

I hope the moderators will allow a simple survey. I’m not being nosey, but another topic branched off into a discussion of medical identification so I’m asking out of curiosity: do you or your Type1 loved one use any of the following Medical IDs:

Car ID (“Diabetic driver” window sticker or other such device)
DMV or other government ID (drivers license notation or wallet card)
Electronic medical ID
Shoe tag
Wallet card (not DMV)
Watch band clip
Anything I missed above - feel free to share.

No judging and of course you don’t have to respond if you don’t want to.

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I’ll go first:
DMV or other government ID (drivers license notation or wallet card)

Hi @wadawabbit the other post was a “potential” spammer and the goal was to collect names and addresses and I couldn’t tell what the end goal was.

Anyway I have an apple phone and there’s medical emergency info on the Lock Screen with emergency contact phone numbers It’s weak but that’s all I have.

Like Joe, I have medical ID on my phone. I also wear an Apple Watch and bought a cheap rubber piece that slides on that says type 1 diabetes so it acts as a medical alert.


  • MedicAlert Bracelet
  • TypeOne diabetes notation imbedded in driver license
  • Phone medical info
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Medic Alert Foundations MedicAlert in necklace form. ID Cards in wallet and iPhone lock screen.

I use a card in my wallet that was sourced from Amazon it’s an aluminum card that I had engraved with my pertinent information.

I wear a Medic Alert bracelet.


Ok. Maybe this is because I am a new diabetic……but I don’t have one.

@homeschoolingmomof5 , as someone who worked in EMS & EMS education years ago and retired after 47 years in the healthcare industry here is my OPINION.

GET an ID! The best is Medic Alert Foundation. There are several reasons this is the best.
[1] it is recognized by EMS world wide. Here in the USA, dues are tax deductible from US Federal Income tax as a form of health insurance. Check with your tax advisor.
[2] the Medic Alert has a brief health alert message, a toll free number and a patient ID number medics can call and advise the patient ID number. By the time EMS has you to the ER, a fax of your EMIR is in the ER. Short messages like DIABETIC, INSULIN PUMP, ACETAMINOPHEN ALLERGY are individualized and engraved on the Medic Alert jewelry (bracelet, necklace, etc).
[3] if there are special notations, like DIABETES, the field EMS paramedics & EMTs need to know, the call center at Medic Alert will advise the EMS team.
[4] the system at Medic Alert is dynamic. Most information can be changed by you online and immediately updated. Documents like advance directives take a special process.
[5] The program works world wide. I know EMS team members in British Commonwealth Nations. Medic Alert Foundation is part of the integrated EMS training in those countries. It is part of the EMS training in the European Union countries.

Bottom line, for your safety, in events where you cannot speak for yourself, you need a good system on your side.

This may be a little long and product focused. This is my opinion as a RETIRED health care professional. I have no financial connection to Medic Alert Foundation except, I am a subscriber and wear a necklace with my info.

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@987jaj thanks again for details on what happens when a rep at Medic Alert gets the call. I’ve worn a bracelet for 50+ years and didn’t realize they sent info to the ER to have on hand! I also didn’t realize my annual membership was tax deductible (head slap!) - oh well, next year.
@homeschoolingmomof5 - MA has a wide - and I do mean wide - selection of IDs: stainless steel, 14 karat gold(!), silicone, and paracord; and bracelets, necklaces and various types of tags. Some emblems come with an option of engraving colors - and some of those stand out much better than others.
I do encourage anyone with a medical condition to carry an ID. I didn’t start this questionnaire with the intent of advocating for Medic Alert - like 987jaj I have no financial connection except as a subscriber - so in all fairness I will add that there are generic IDs available on Amazon and perhaps at your local pharmacy.

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I just have the standard necklace that says diabetic, but have been thinking to upgrade to something with more info. I will look into the medic alert

An additional thought when selecting items such as a bracelet, Dorie @wadawabbit , Courtney @homeschoolingmomof5 , although there is a wide selection with MedicAlert, it is advised that people with diabetes use the stainless steel. This was told to me by the MedicAlert service rep [remember when live people answered phones?] told me when ordering my first bracelet 55 years ago; something about the skin of people with diabetes corroding other medals. That said, the gold band that has remained on my ring finger for 55 years still looks great.


I have a RoadID medical bracelet and information on my iPhone’s medical ID. I’m newly diagnosed (21, diagnosed just over a month ago) so it seemed decently important, at least until everything gets under control.

We’re corrosive - who knew???

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I have the info on my drivers license, as well as a DIY medical alert necklace (every bracelet/necklace I bought broke pretty quickly, so I used the PetSmart dog tag engraving machine to make a dog tag necklace with my name, T1D, and emergency contact info)

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@eclipsedsunflwr , Jay from my experience and I checked with a current medic, in a law enforcement event, your wallet, drivers license, and valuables will be secured by law enforcement and not delivered to the hospital for more than 2 hours.

DIY devices may not be recognized by first responders and treated as EMIRs.

For others reading, tattoos are a real disaster. There was discussion here, TuDiabetes, or a Facebook D group where the concept though sounding good, was thrashed to the woodshed. None of the 50 states recognize them in EMS training. Several of the other English speaking countries around the globe also leave them in the lurch.

Hope this helps.

@987jaj, thank you for the info on law enforcement holding those items - I had no idea! I thought the “pet tag” engraving was a very creative idea, but the key thing is that responders look for the medical symbol (caduceus), correct?
I made this post just wondering what people use - I didn’t realize I would learn so much! I really appreciate your professional perspective.

@wadawabbit , @eclipsedsunflwr , @homeschoolingmomof5 , @Dennis , @joe , @Tee25

First Responders, especially those whose task is life (EMS, fire) have in their training curricula to look for medical IDs. The scan is for something with the STAR OF LIFE (see below) and not the Red Cross.

Originally, according to the Bible, Nehushtan was a metal serpent mounted on a staff that Moses had made, by God’s command, to cure the Israelites of snake bites while wandering in the desert. (Numbers 21:8-9)
Below is a text excerpt from the USA’s Nationial Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Service ( STAR OF LIFE web page (EMS Star of Life):

It is appropriate that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) be distinctively identified for the benefit of not only EMS providers but also their patients and the general public. Recognizing the need for a symbol that would represent this critical public service and be easily recognized by all, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created the “Star of Life” and holds priority rights to the use of this registered certification mark.

Adapted from the personal Medical Identification Symbol of the American Medical Association, each bar on the “Star of Life” represents one of six EMS functions. The functions include:

  1. Detection,
  2. Reporting,
  3. Response,
  4. On-Scene Care,
  5. Care in Transit,
  6. Transfer to Definitive Care

The serpent and staff in the symbol portray the staff of Asclepius, an ancient Greek physician deified as the god of medicine. Overall, the staff represents medicine and healing, with the skin-shedding serpent being indicative of renewal.

The “Star of Life” has become synonymous with emergency medical care around the globe. This symbol can be seen as a means of identification on ambulances, emergency medical equipment, patches or apparel worn by EMS providers and materials such as books, pamphlets, manuals, reports, and publications that either have a direct application to EMS or were generated by an EMS organization. It can also be found on road maps and highway signs indicating the location of or access to qualified emergency medical care.

Learn more about how to use the “Star of Life” from the NHTSA “Star of Life” Manual

Lol :joy: , I don’t think the corrosive opinion is quite correct. Maybe a sales gimmick. I’ve had a beautiful rose gold bracelet for 5 years now, and still looks beautiful.