Getting a License Just Got Harder

A visit to the driver’s license office has always been a little slice of hell.  Now it’s gotten even worse.  Florida’s strict new identity requirements for license renewal are steering drivers to new heights of confusion, costing them time from work, sending them on laborious paper chases and forcing return trips to the dreaded DMV. ”It’s very frustrating,” said Harmony Hoot, of Lake Worth who, along with her fiancé recently was on her third attempt in a day to renew his license. “I’ll admit I was yelling. There were some profanities.”  The source of Hoot’s woe: A new state law that went into effect Jan. 1 requiring drivers to provide more documentation before renewing a license. Where formerly you needed only to produce your old license to get a new one, you must now cough up more solid identification such as a birth certificate or passport.  Further proof is required in the form of a Social Security card. If the flimsy card has disintegrated in your wallet over the past decades, a W-2 tax form or paycheck bearing the nine magic numbers will do. But that’s not all. The state demands not one, but two proofs of residency bearing your address, which can be a utility bill, mortgage statement or vehicle registration or title. Parents can accompany minor drivers and attest to their residency as long as the parent has the required proof of address.  Married women using their husband’s name will need to produce a marriage certificate. ”I was not told I need a marriage certificate just to renew my license,” said a disheartened Lucy Garcia, of Tamarac, who for a second time was turned away from the license office in Lauderhill. “Who knows how much longer I’m going to be coming here?”  But at least the Lauderhill office had staffers out front to cull from the herd people who lacked sufficient documentation, sparing them a wait in line.  The documentation requirements are part of the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005 in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The hijackers used false identification, including Florida driver’s licenses. A majority of states has refused to comply with the act, and federal authorities have postponed until mid-2011 a deadline for it to take effect. Gary Biller, director of the National Motorists Association, a driver’s advocacy group, said the new requirements are too extreme. However, if you get caught speeding, you should call the Traffic Ticket Team,, to fight your Florida Traffic Ticket. Call us anytime to fight your traffic ticket at 954-967-9888, Law Offices of Jason A. Diamond, P.A. and Diamond, Kistner & Diamond.