Published Sunday, May 20, 2012

You will have to renew driver's license in person starting July 1

By JOHN A. WINTERS

john@newnan.com

Starting July 1, all Georgians needing to renew or apply for their driver’s license will have to do so in person.

The requirement is due to the state’s new Secure ID program, aimed at improving the security of driver’s licenses and to comply with federal laws.

However, there’s no need to rush and get the new license until your current one expires. When it does expire, that’s when you’ll have to apply in person and bring several documents to prove identification and residency. After getting the new license, you’ll be able to once again renew online when the new license expires.

Anyone needing to get their license renewed, reinstated or apply for a new one must visit one of the Department of Driver Services centers. The Newnan facility is located at 128 Bullsboro Drive in Eastgate shopping center.

In announcing the change earlier this month, Gov. Nathan Deal said, “This program will give Georgians the most secure IDs we’ve ever issued in the state. It is our duty to protect our residents’ identities to the best of our ability.”

According to the state website, the new licenses will: “ensure the integrity of your DL/ID; provides added security against personal identity theft; ensures that the DDS has your most current information; and meets upcoming federal requirements for boarding a commercial flight and entry into federal buildings.”

The state has set up a website that lists the documents you will need to bring; a checklist to ensure you are bringing the right documents; and several questions and answers.

That site is: http://www.dds.ga.gov/secureid/index.aspx

There are three key types of documents you will need to bring with you. Those are listed on the above site, but examples include:

• First: a primary ID such as a valid passport or an original or certified copy of your birth certificate.

• Second: proof of your Social Security Number. This can be the original SSN or a W-2 pay stub with your name and SSN on it.

• Third: Two documents proving your residence. These can include a utility bill within the last 60 days, a bank statement with your address within the last 60 days, your lease or mortgage or homeowners insurance.

A press release from the governor’s office and DDS said “the new Secure ID process will be phased-in with existing Georgia DL/IDs remaining valid until their expiration date.

“After presenting documentation at a DDS Customer Service Center, Georgians will be issued a new card with a gold star symbol in the upper right corner,” officials said in the statement. “Customers with a current Georgia DL/ID may continue to use it as an acceptable form of identification and/or for boarding a commercial flight and entering federal buildings as long as it is valid.

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