For Immediate Release
Date: June 14, 2005
Contact: Maura Browning
Phone: (573) 751-8222
Changes in ID Requirements Will Affect All Missouri Drivers
JEFFERSON CITY – Beginning July 1, the Missouri Department of Revenue (department) will implement new driver licensing and ID requirements aimed at ensuring the validity of the licenses it issues. The changes are a result of Senate Bill 1233, passed in 2004 and signed by former Gov. Bob Holden, and require proof of “lawful presence” – the rightful legal claim to be present in the United States. Across the country, only 12 states do not require proof of lawful presence.
“Missourians need to know about these changes so they can plan ahead for getting a license or ID,” said department director Trish Vincent. “I understand it isn’t as convenient, but with cooperation from our customers, we can implement these changes smoothly.”
Whether a Missourian is renewing a permit, driver license or nondriver license, or applying for the first time, specific identification will be required. For the department to continue its focus on customer service it will depend on its customers who are U.S. citizens to be prepared with one of the following – a U.S. birth certificate (state or local government issued), a valid U.S. passport, a Certificate of Citizenship, a Certificate of Naturalization, or a Certificate of Birth Abroad.
When a customer arrives at a license office, he or she will need to show documentation indicating how their name has changed, if at all, through time. Some examples:
* John Doe was born in Rolla and has lived in Missouri all his life. His name has never changed. To renew his license, John will have to show a U.S. birth certificate or a valid U.S. passport to show his “lawful presence” in the United States.
* Jane Doe was born in Nixa and moved from state to state as a child with her parents. Jane is married and has settled in St. Joseph and needs to renew her driver license. Her maiden name is Deer. To renew her license, Jane will need to show her birth certificate or a valid U.S. Passport. If Jane presents a birth certificate, she will be required to present an official copy of her marriage license, which will indicate why her name has changed from Jane Deer to Jane Doe.
* Jill Doe was born in the U.S. and has a valid Passport in her married name. Even though Jill is married and her name has changed from her birth certificate, she can present her Passport as proof of lawful presence.
* Janice Doe needs to obtain a new driver license since she has just divorced. Her current driver license says “Janice Doe” but she would like to revert to her maiden name, “Janice Fawn.” If Janice brings in her birth certificate, she will also need to show an official copy of her marriage license AND an official copy of her divorce decree. This shows Janice’s history of name changes. If Janice has a valid U.S. Passport that has her name as “Janice Doe,” she must bring in a copy of her divorce decree to show that her name has now changed to her maiden name, Janice Fawn.
Non-U.S. citizens must also be prepared to present proper identification that indicates their current status. Some examples of appropriate documents for non-U.S. citizens include a valid passport, I-94, I-20, a VISA, or an Employment Authorization Document.
“A driver license has become the most requested form of ID in America and we all depend on the accuracy of the information present on a license,” said Vincent. “By adhering to a stronger, more consistent system, we can play a role in creating a safer driving environment and protecting the identity and security of law-abiding Missourians.”
The new requirements will help in cracking down on identity theft, America’s fastest growing crime. According to statistics from the ID Theft Clearinghouse, over 635,000 Americans reported themselves as victims of identity theft or fraud in 2004. These victims reported losses of more than $547 million.
“I understand some of our customers will find the new requirements difficult,” said Vincent, “but we are committed to providing the best customer service possible, and also to ensure that the work we do can be counted on by our customers, taxpayers, law enforcement, and everyone else who uses driver licenses as a means of identification.”