The Florida Legislature has made a number of changes to Florida's driver license laws that have recently gone into effect or will go into effect at the beginning of 2010. Many, if not all, of these changes to the law were made to comply with the requirements of the federal "Real ID" act.
As of November 1, 2009, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will no longer:
- Issue "Valid in Florida Only" driver licenses;
- Allow individuals to hold both a driver's license and an identification card at the same time; or
- Issue a driver's license or identification card that does not contain the driver's full legal name on its face.
In addition, effective January 1, 2010, people who want to either renew or obtain a Florida driver license will have to bring a number of documents to prove their (1) identity, (2) social security number, and (3) residential address. The following checklist outlines the types of documents that are acceptable to prove each requirement:
1. Proof of Identification (Bring ONE):
- Certified U.S. Birth Certificate (A hospital birth certificate is not acceptable)
- Valid U.S. Passport
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Consular report of birth abroad
2. Proof of Social Security Number (Bring ONE):
- Social Security Card
- W-2 Form
- Pay Check with Social Security Number
- DD-214 Form
- School Record with Social Security Number
- IRS Record with Social Security Number
3. Proof of Residential Address (Bring TWO):
- Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet, or rental agreement
- Florida voter registration card
- W-2 Form or 1099 Form
- Utility bill, hookup, or work order not more than two months old
- Current automobile or homeowner's insurance policy or bill
- Mail from a financial institution within the past sixty days
- Medical or health card with address
- Letter from a shelter or halfway house confirming applicant's residence at that facility
- Educational transcript for current school year with address
- Statement from an accompanying parent or guardian residing at the same address as the minor applicant (Although parent or guardian must demonstrate proof of residence themselves)
We Anticipate These New Laws Will have the Following Ramifications:
- Floridians will now be forced to endure the inconvenience of waiting in a crowded driver license office in order to renew a driver license;
- Drivers who had long enjoyed the youthful looking photo on their driver's license by continuously renewing on-line will now be saddled with a current, more accurate photo; and
- Older drivers who may have avoided an eye exam by renewing on-line, will now be subject to a vision examination due to the requirement of a personal appearance in order to renew.
However, the Florida DHSMV does allow a one-time "green light" to renew a driver's license over the Internet or by mail. You can only do this once between office visits to renew or get a new license.
Florida's laws concerning driver's licenses are already complex. These new legislative changes have added yet another layer of challenges standing between Floridians and their privilege to drive. Our office represents a large number of people who are charged in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or other area of Pinellas County with a driving offense that is related to their driver's license status.
If you have been charged with a traffic or criminal violation, call our office at (727) 578-0303 for a free consultation.