Drivers will need proof of identity after July 1 to renew driver's license

9:37 PM, May 8, 2012   |    comments
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(Courtesy Georgia Dept. of Driver Services)

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Motorists with a Georgia driver's license that is set to renew on July 1 or later are looking at major changes to the way they update their licenses.

In order to renew or reinstate a driver's license, motorists will have to go to the license office in person and provide proof of who they are along with where they live.

When they show up, motorists will have to provide an original copy of a birth certificate or current passport, along with a Social Security card or document like a W-2 or income tax return that shows a Social Security number -- and two documents that verify a motorist's permanant address.

The move is all part of Georgia's compliance with a federal act that goes into effect in 2015 which requires a secure identification to get into federal buildings or on a commercial airline flight.

The new driver's license card will have a "secure ID star" in the right hand corner.

"I think it's a good thing to provide documentation if you have it. It's no problem. It's worth the hassle to me to make sure everybody is safe," said Amy Durham, who was waiting at the license office to renew her license.

"I think it's cumbersome but I am familiar with the process and my wife recently had to go through the same process when she changed her name and we got married, and if it helps protect the country then I think that's what we have to do," said Matt Olsen, who was also in line.

Once the license is renewed or reinstated under the new system, drivers will be able to go back to getting their licenses issued either in person or online.

A 5 year renewal is $20, for an 8 year renewal, the price is $32.

Are drivers in for long waits? Will customers have to wait?

"We hope it's not all day long. We are going to do our best to prevent that. I will tell you Tuesday is our busiest day, while Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon is the most ideal time to come for the best wait times and customer service," said Susan Sports of the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

As states across the nation implement the new law, it's not without controversy, with many citizen groups objecting to a national identification system.

In New Jersey, the ACLU has already filed a legal action against implementation of the act -- which is called the Real ID Act of 2005.

Visit the Department of Driver Services' website for more information.

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