Tougher License Requirements January First

Beginning January first, it is not going to be as easy as it has been in the past to renew or replace your driver’s license in Florida’s St. Johns County.

It’s all part of the Real ID Act that was passed by Congress on May 11, 2005. Previously, the rules were not as stringent, but now residents will have to provide their Social Security number, prove their identity, and address.

The Act was passed to help prevent fraud and identity theft and to make it more difficult for terrorists to easily assimilate into the general population. Remember 18 of the 19 Saudi nationals that hijacked planes had valid U.S. driver’s licenses.

Here is what you will need to bring with you as a form of identification – a certified U.S. birth certificate (a hospital birth certificate is not acceptable); a valid U.S. passport; a Certification of Naturalization; or a Consular report of birth abroad. You may have to contact the vital statistics department in the state you were born.

For Social Security – bring a Social Security card, or a W-2 form, or a paycheck showing the SS number or a DD-214, or a school record showing the number or lastly any IRS document that shows the Social Security number.

For your residential address, you’ll need the address to be on your driver license o bring a deed, mortgage or Florida voter registration card. The vehicle registration and title will do as well as a W-2 or 1099 form. Also round up a utility bill with your address or a current insurance policy.

If you’ve legally changed your name you’ll need a certificate from the court of a marriage or court order. St. John’s county officials realize they are going to hear a lot of complaints for the stiffer requirements but the county says its state law was passed to comply with federal law and there is nothing they can do. 36 states will have to be ready to meet the requirement January 1.