New license requirements create roadblock for drivers
The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles has issued new licensing requirements for any driver’s licenses and ID cards, including renewals of current licenses and ID cards.
All current unexpired licenses and ID cards are still valid until their expiration. But when applying for a new license or ID card or for renewals, strict new requirements for documentation are in place.
Finding out the hard way
The Morgan Messenger’s own Sandy Buzzerd found out the hard way how the new requirements can ruin your day.
After she drove to the DMV office in Martinsburg to renew her driver’s license and waited in a long line, she was told she had to have proof of her name change.
“I have been married for 35 years. Who thinks about a name change after that long?” Buzzerd asked.
After driving back to Berkeley Springs to get a copy of her marriage certificate from the courthouse and driving again to Martinsburg, she was able to obtain a new driver’s license.
“I was lucky I was married in Morgan County. Just think of the trouble you would have if you were married elsewhere,” Buzzerd said.
Buzzerd asked if she would have to go through this again the next time her license needed to be renewed. The DMV worker said her documents were now on the computer, but in five years, who knows what other documentation may be required.
According to the DMV, the new safeguards are part of a nationwide effort to improve integrity and security of driver’s licenses and ID cards in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The program is supposed to cut down on identity theft and fraud by using new technology to produce tamper-proof licenses and ID cards while making it easier for law enforcement to detect falsified or counterfeit documents.
Three types of licenses
Applicants will now have the choice of receiving what is called a Real ID compliant driver’s license or ID card with a gold star in the upper right corner, meeting federal requirements for use at airports and other federal facilities, or receiving a license that cannot be used for federal identification.
The non-federal compliant license or ID is issued over the counter at DMV locations.
The federal compliant license or ID is sent to the applicant’s address via UPS in about 10 days. A temporary license or ID is issued by the DMV if you opt for the federal identification use driver’s license or ID.
The temporary license or ID is good for up to 60 days.
The new requirements will be especially difficult for those whose name has changed due to marriage, divorce or court order.
Applicants are now required to produce one proof of Social Security number, one proof of identity plus two forms of proof of West Virginia residency.
The documents provided are scanned into the DMV computer system to provide a historical record.
Proof of SSN
To provide proof of a Social Security number, you may either present an original Social Security Card, W-2 Wage and Tax Statement with employer name, employer ID number, applicants name, address and Social Security Number or a SSA/1099 Form (Social Security Benefit Form).
The DMV cautions to make sure your Social Security records reflect your full legal name as it is reflected on your other documents.
Proof of Identity
To provide proof of identity, you must produce an original or certified copy of a United States-issued birth certificate or valid U.S. Passport. Hospital birth certificates are not acceptable.
Those born in foreign countries must produce valid, unexpired Department of Homeland Security documents.
Proof of Residency
There are two lists of documents on the DMV web site called “List B” and “List C” that may be used to prove that you are a resident of West Virginia.
An applicant may provide two forms of proof from List B or one form of proof from List B and another from List C.
The items on List B are too numerous, but include such documents as WV utility bills, tax records, mortgage documents, weapons permits, WV motor vehicles registration card, recent W-2 forms and voter registration card.
List C includes documents such as college admission letters for in-state residents, benefits letter from West Virginia Health & Human Resources, check stub from a West Virginia employer that shows a current physical address, Social Security benefits letter and U.S. Selective Service card.
Proof of name change
If you have changed your name, you must provide documents that are applicable to the name change. These include marriage certificate, certified copy of a birth certificate, court order and/or divorce papers.
If you want to save yourself multiple trips to the DMV office, make sure you have the required forms and documents with you.