Beginning on Jan. 3, residents needing to have their driver’s license renewed will need several other documents to prove they are who their old license says they are. DMV officials say the move is necessary to be in compliance with the Real ID Act, a federal law passed in 2005 to protect the country against terrorism.
While this law may be designed to protect Americans from terrorism, its main result will be to cause major headaches for people needing to renew their license. Now, those needing to renew their driver’s license fill out a form and get their new license. That all changes on Jan. 3. Then applicants will be required to show:
— Proof of identity, such as an original certified birth certificate or an unexpired U.S. passport, or a Department of Homeland Security document for foreign-born residents;
— Proof of Social Security number, which could be an original Social Security card or payroll stud with the applicant’s name, address, Social Security number, or a tax state or payroll stub with the same information.
Even this does not completely satisfy the government: applicants also will need to have two - not just one, but two - proof of residency documents, such as a voter registration card, utility bills, tax records or mortgage documents.
For a married or divorced woman, or others whose name is now different than the one on the birth certificate, additional proof of identity is required.
Security always is a concern. However, how does adding new layers of bureaucracy for law-abiding citizens to wade through make us safer? It doesn’t.
And this information is already required when people apply for their first driver’s license. This policy only makes an already time-consuming task more tedious and annoying. For some, the elderly, or those who don’t have a copy of their original birth certificate, this is going to be a major problem.
Many states have opted out of the Real ID requirement, which is allowed. Why didn’t West Virginia follow suit?
Distributed by The Associated Press