If you’ve renewed your Florida driver’s license lately, you’re probably aware of recent changes in identification requirements. It takes more documents to prove you are you.
You may renew your license online at dmvflorida.org or via mail one time. After you have done that once, the fun begins. To renew again, you must visit a Florida Department of Motor Vehicles’ or county tax collector’s office in person and provide the required identification documents.
New requirements took effect Jan. 1, 2010 as part of the Real ID Act designed to combat terrorism and fraud. The fee jumped from $15 to $48. Don’t delay. A delinquent license renewal is $63. If you lose your license, it costs $25 to replace it. If your license is stolen, there is no fee if a police report is provided, and it’s $15 without a police report.
The DMV has an interactive website at GatherGoGet.com that is an easy way to verify when you need to visit an office and what documents are required.
A Delray Beach resident who was trying to renew his license alerted us to an online website that can easily be mistaken for the state agency’s website.
He searched “Florida Driver’s License” and ended up at FloridaDriversLicensing.org, which calls itself “Your source for Florida driver’s license information.”
“It leads you to believe you are renewing your license online for $14.95 when in fact all they are doing is allowing you to download the information on how to and what you need to take along with you to the Florida DMV in order to renew in person,” the resident said.
When he received his credit card bill, he contacted the company which agreed to remove the charge. The site does have a disclaimer stating it is privately owned and is neither affiliated with, endorsed by, nor operated by the Florida DMV or any government agency. It says it provides links both to the DMV and to an independent third party offering application assistance.
The DMV has only one office left in Palm Beach County, at 571 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach. The other DMV offices were taken over by the Palm Bach County Tax Collector’s office, which offers dirver’s license services at seven locations. However, the services offered at each location vary.
For more information go to GatherGoGet or to pbctax.com. The tax collector’s office accepts only cash, check or money order — no credit cards. It costs an extra $6.25 to renew there.
If you are applying for a new driver’s license, ID Card, or have legally changed your name you must provide the following: Primary identification, proof of Social Security number and two proofs of residential address. A post office box is not acceptable.
It can take some time to gather up all the documents, and of course you may have to pay to obtain those you no longer have on hand.
If you don’t have a certified copy of your birth certificate, you will have to request one from the county health department or vital statistics officials in the county where you were born. A hospital-issued birth certificate won’t do. If you don’t have the birth certificate, you can present a valid U.S. passport or passport card, consular report of birth abroad, or certificate of naturalization.
The name assigned to the Social Security number must match the name that appears Florida driver’s license or identification card. If you have changed your name, update your records with the Social Security Administration before you apply for your license or identification card, the DMV advises.
If you have legally changed your name due to marriage or court order, you must submit the original or a certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order. This is available from the clerk of courts in the county where you were married. No photocopies will be accepted unless certified by the issuing authority. Marriage licenses must be from a governmental agency. Church-issued licenses cannot be accepted.
If presenting a valid U.S. Passport and the name on your passport is your current name, you are not required to present additional name change documents.
Proof of Social Security number can be shown by presenting a Social Security card, a W-2 form, a paycheck, or a 1099 form.
There’s a long list of documents acceptable for proving your residential address. You have to provide two of them. Some of those are a property deed, mortgage statement, lease agreement, Florida voter registration card, a Florida vehicle registration or title, a homeowner’s or auto insurance policy or bill and utility bills not less than two months ago.
Check your license to see when it expires, and be prepared to avoid a last-minute scramble for documents. You will probably receive a postcard from the state letting your know a month in advance that it’s time to renew.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ customer service line is (850) 617-2000.