August 11th, 2008

Underage child & school attendance

Have some problems...

My character is ten years old and moves to a large-ish city with his older sister. I'm not exactly sure where, at the moment. I'm thinking possibly Chicago. They are renting an apartment, but semi-illegally as they do nothing more than turn in the money every month (no paperwork). The girl works an under-the-table job as a waitress.

She decides he needs to attend public school. My question (yeah, took a little while) is how difficult it will be for him to get in under a fake name. He doesn't have any form of identification (including social security card, but he can always just make up a number). They don't have utility bills to prove residence, either, as the owner takes the money from the rent. Will he have to illegally obtain ID?

If so, exactly how sketchy would you have to be to get ID illegally? I don't want her to have to talk to crack dealers, exactly, but I'm sure the impression I've gotten of 'you can get it on the right street corner in twenty minutes' is a little incorrect.

Plus, he obviously doesn't need a driver's license, just non-driver's ID. Would that be more difficult?

I'm thinking illegal aliens must somehow have their non-identity ignored, as they attend school with me, but would the administration do the same for someone who was obviously a citizen (they can't pass as foreigners)? Would they require proof that the girl had custody if she tried to claim it? Would they require that their parents register him if she didn't, or could she do the paperwork?

Would the registration be the only time their identity was questioned, or would they be under worse-than-normal attention because of it?

Thanks in advance for the help and the patience.