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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

New option for renewing Ind. driver’s licenses

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Indiana motorists worried about having all documents necessary for renewing their driver’s licenses or state identification cards to meet federal standards can still get optional cards beginning in January, officials said Wednesday.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles announced last month that motorists who renew their driver’s licenses or obtain new ones beginning in January would have to present documents proving their identities to obtain a federally compliant card. The documents include birth certificates, Social Security cards or W-2 forms, bank statements or utility bills issued within 60 days.

The one-time requirement is part of an effort to stem identity theft by aligning state and federal law.

But the BMV will now allow people the option of renewing their driver’s licenses or state ID cards with a federally noncompliant card by simply showing their old license and signing an affidavit saying they have been informed that the card may limit their ability to board airplanes or enter certain federal buildings at some point.

The federal prohibitions likely will not be enforced until 2016, state officials said. New residents, beginning drivers or others seeking first-time licenses or ID cards still will have to provide documents needed for federally compliant cards.

In January, the state will begin issuing two forms of driver’s licenses or ID cards — with the optional card marked “Not for federal identification.” The federally noncompliant driver’s licenses will still give people legal status to drive, and the licenses and ID cards will allow them to vote.

Gov. Mitch Daniels said the policy change was made to appease some motorists worried that they would not be able to locate all the documents in a timely manner to renew their driver’s licenses before the federal standards are enforced.

“We encourage citizens to obtain a SecureID (federally compliant card) when it’s time to renew, but we’re giving everyone the full six-year period in order to maximize convenience,” Daniels said.

BMV Commissioner Andy Miller said in some cases, the agency will accept alternate documents such as court, school or hospital records to satisfy the ID requirements for getting a federally compliant card.

Miller and Daniels announced the changes at a BMV branch in south Indianapolis, where Bobbi Clendening, 80, of Carmel, was waiting for her granddaughter to complete a driver’s test needed to get her license.

Clendening said her own license expires in January, and although she needed time to find all the documents necessary to obtain a federally compliant card, that’s what she intended to do because she believes the requirements would prevent identity theft and fraud.

“I don’t think they’re asking for too much,” she said.

© 2009 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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