More issues getting Georgia driver's license, especially for womenBy ALEX MCRAE
Changes in the way Georgia driver’s licenses are issued or renewed continue to raise questions from drivers facing the new identity and residence requirements for the first time.
The new rules have been especially confusing for women who have divorced, married or desire a name change on their driver’s license.
It is also stated on the website: “If the name has changed from an original birth record, passport, or other approved identity document, customers must present the complete trail of certified documents supporting all name changes. Acceptable documents include an original or certified copy of a marriage certificate or marriage license application (for all marriages), divorce decree (if a name change was specified on the decree), court ordered name change, or adoption decree.
The DDS website warns drivers of potential changes in the application or renewal process. Under the heading “What Will be Different for Me?” on the website it says:
• You must visit a Customer Service Center in person on your first renewal, reinstatement or first issuance beginning July 1, 2012;
• You must provide an original or certified copy of your Birth Certificate or other proof of identity, and proof U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the United States;
• You must provide your Social Security Card or other proof of full SSN. Previously, DDS was allowed to simply ask you for your SSN; and
• You must provide two different proofs of your residential address. Previously, DDS only required one proof of your residential address for your first DL or ID card.
• Additional documentation to verify lawful presence in the United States may be required if you are a non-citizen.
• Additional documentation may be required if you have had a legal name change.
Currently, those wishing to get a new license or renew an existing license may not do so online. All applications must be done in person. Those applying for a driver’s license are required to bring more identification and proof of residency than required previously.
Under “Name Change” the DDS says:
“If your name has changed from the name on the Primary Identification document (Example: birth certificate or passport) provided as proof of identity; then you must provide an original or certified copy of one (1) or more of the following documents.
• Marriage Certificate
• Marriage License Application
• Divorce decree
• Adoption decree
• Other Court Order
DDS only accepts immigration documentation from Non-Citizens that is in the name in which you want to have your DL/ ID issued.
Under “Primary Identification” on the website it is stated that you must present one (1) of the following:
• Valid, unexpired U.S. Passport - For more information, go to www.travel.state.gov/passport/
• An original birth certificate or a certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the customer’s state of birth. Georgia residents, for more information go to GA Vital Records www.rover.ga.gov .
• Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S Department of State, Form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS 545 - For more information, go to www.travel.state.gov/law/family_issues/birth/birth_593.html .
• Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS, Form N-550 or N-570 - For more Information, go to www.dhs.gov/xabout/gc_1186413412271.shtm .
Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560 or N-561, issued by the DHS - For more information, go to www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis .
You must also present proof of Social Security, including Social Security Card or Medicare Card.
Applicants must also present two (2) documents showing proof of residence. Accepted documents include: utility bill issued within last 60 days; bank statement issued within last 60 days, valid rental contracts and/ or receipts for rent payments made within the last 60 days. Other proofs of residency may be accepted, Check with your local DDS office.
The website also has answers to other frequently asked questions, including:
• What if I am not eligible for a Social Security Number?
Answer: You must go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and obtain a Letter of Denial stating that you are not eligible for a SSN, and bring the letter with your other documents during your next visit to DDS.
• What if I am a dependent and do not have two documents that show I am residing with a parent, guardian or relative?
Answer: DDS accepts a number of common documents to prove your residential address including:
– A non-expired Georgia driver’s license, permit or identification card issued to your parent, guardian, spouse, or child;
– A dependent’s State of Georgia or federal income tax return for current or preceding calendar year listing you as a dependent; and
– School records or transcripts showing your residential address.
• What if I reside in an assisted care facility and do not have two documents that show where I am residing?
Answer: DDS will accept a letter from the facility for customers who reside in a medical or assisted care facility. The letter must be on the facility’s official letterhead and include your name, date of birth, the address of the facility, and the name and phone number of an official representative of the facility.
• What if I have legally changed my name?
Answer: For existing customers - Customers who have a valid Georgia DL or ID must present the latest certified document supporting the most recent name change. For example, a woman who has divorced and wishes to change her name on her DL or ID will present an original birth certificate plus a divorce decree showing a full legal name.
For customers new to Georgia - If the name has changed from an original birth record, passport, or other approved identity document, customers must present the complete trail of certified documents supporting all name changes. Acceptable documents include an original or certified copy of a marriage certificate or marriage license application (for all marriages), divorce decree (if a name change was specified on the decree), court ordered name change, or adoption decree.
• What if I have lost my original or certified copy of an identity document?
Answer: You will need to contact the appropriate agency to get a certified copy of an accepted identity document.
• What if I do not have all of the documents when I visit a customer service center?
Answer: If you currently hold a valid Georgia DL or ID, you will receive a temporary DL/ID that has a limited term (up to 120 days) which gives you additional time to gather the required documents and return to a Customer Service Center with your documents.
Drivers are unable to renew a driver’s license online until they have first been issued one of the new secure IDs.