Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About...
How to Get Emergency Contraception
In the U.S., Plan B One-Step is available without age restrictions to women and men (check the family planning aisle). One-pill generics (My Way and Next Choice One Dose) will soon be available on the shelf for consumers aged 17 and older, but this change has not taken effect yet; women aged 16 and younger still need a prescription. Two-pill generics (Levonorgestrel Tablets) are still available only behind the counter without prescription if you are 17 or older; younger women need a prescription.
Will I need identification to buy emergency contraception?
No - now, there is one brand of EC (Plan B One-Step) that anyone can buy directly on the shelf without having to show ID.
However, there are different age regulations on how to purchase the different types of EC available, so it can be a bit confusing.
Plan B One-Step is sold on the shelf (check the family planning aisle) with no restrictions. That means anyone can buy it without having to show ID. Plan B One-Step generally costs about $40-50.
- Soon, the generic one-pill products (Next Choice One Dose and My Way) will be available on the shelf next to Plan B One-Step, but you need to be 17 to buy them. Be prepared to show ID to buy these products. These generics generally cost about $35-45.
- The generic two-pill products Levonorgestrel Tablets are still available only at the pharmacy counter. Women and men aged 17 or older can buy them without a prescription. If you are 16 or younger, you need a prescription.
- ella is sold by prescription only, regardless of age. You can also order ella through an online prescription service for $40, including next-day shipping.
Even though there is a brand of EC that anyone of any age can buy without having to show ID, generally the generic versions, which do require proof that you are 17 or older, are a bit cheaper.
If you are 17, you may want to bring your ID to the pharmacy with you and buy a generic form of EC if you want to save some money. Any government-issued identification that includes proof of age should be accepted. Examples of government-issued identification include but are not limited to:
- United States passport (unexpired or expired)
- Alien Registration Receipt Card or Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551
- An unexpired foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp
- An unexpired Employment Authorization Document issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service which contains a photograph, Form I-766; Form I-688, Form I-688A, or Form I-688B
- In the case of a nonimmigrant alien authorized to work for a specific employer incident to status, an unexpired foreign passport with an Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94, bearing the same name as the passport and containing an endorsement of the alien's nonimmigrant status, so long as the period of endorsement has not yet expired and the proposed employment is not in conflict with any restrictions or limitations identified on the Form I-94
- A driver's license or identification card containing a photograph, issued by a state or an outlying possession of the United States. If the driver's license or identification card does not contain a photograph, identifying information shall be included such as: name, date of birth, sex, height, color of eyes, and address
- School identification card with a photograph and birthdate
- Voter registration card
- U.S. military card or draft record
- Identification card issued by Federal, State, or local government agencies or entities. If the identification card does not contain a photograph, identifying information shall be included such as: name, date of birth, sex, height, color of eyes, and address
- Military dependent's identification card
- Native American tribal documents
- United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
- Driver's license issued by a Canadian government authority
If someone denies you access to emergency contraception for any reason, please let us know.