Tougher policies coming for Georgia drivers

by: Diana Davis Updated:

ATLANTA - It's going to be tougher to get a Georgia driver's license.

Georgians with simple license renewals haven't had to apply for renewals in person at state driver's license offices for ten years. They could renew online or by mail.

But on July 1, the state's new secure program requires drivers to come in to one of 64 driver service centers in person. It is the latest part of living in the post-911 world, according to the Commissioner of Drivers Services Greg Dozier.

"Obviously, the 911 Commission many years ago came up with many of these recommendations," Dozier told Channel 2's Diana Davis.

Beside that face-to-face renewal, drivers will need to bring more written proof verifying their identity and residence.

For identification, that will include a birth certificate, passport, marriage license of certificate of naturalization.

Drivers also have to prove their Social Security Number with a Social Security card, recent W-2 form or pay stub.

Applicants will be required to have documents proving their home address. That could include a recent bill or bank statement.

The Georgia Department of Drivers Services is launching a marketing campaign and will mail reminder postcards to drivers whose licenses are about to expire.

Dozier adds the state will work with applicants who don't bring in everything they need.

"We will give you a temporary document that day to continue driving on for 120 days to give you a chance to get those documents and come back," he said.

Dozier said the state has hired 29 more clerks to handle the load. He admits there may be longer wait times.
The benefit to the new policy, he said, is that once people get the new type of license, they won't have to renew it every time.

Once drivers' identity has been vetted, driver services said every other year renewal will be permitted online.