Oregonians face tougher ID requirements at DMV

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Oregon’s first few weeks under stricter laws for driver’s licenses and identification cards have been challenging for both Oregonians and Oregon DMV employees.

‘Oregon is experiencing a rapid and extensive tightening of license and ID issuance requirements in 2008,’ according to DMV Administrator Tom McClellan. ‘We are working hard to help Oregonians understand the new requirements and to get prepared for their next visit to a DMV office. It’s not too early to start gathering the necessary documents.’

Gone are the days when an expiring license or ID card was all that customers needed to renew. Now they need a minimum of two additional documents to renew or replace a driver’s license, driver’s permit or ID card.

As of July 1, everyone who applies for a first-time, renewal or replacement driver’s license, ID card or instruction permit must provide DMV with documents that prove:

  • U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S., such as a state issued birth certificate, U.S. passport, or U.S. immigration documents;
  • Social Security number, such as Social Security card or tax document – DMV also will verify the SSN electronically – or, if the customer has no SSN, proof that he or she is ineligible for one; and
  • Full legal name.

The ‘full legal name’ provision has turned out to be the most challenging, particularly for people who have had one or more name changes through marriage and divorce.

If the current legal name is different than the name on the document that proves his or her lawful presence in the country – such as birth certificate or U.S. immigration document – the customer must provide documents that show a link between the original name and the current name. For some, this can require one or more marriage certificates and divorce decrees.

‘There is an increase in customers being turned away, and it seems to be those who do not have the connecting documents required to show full legal name are the ones who are making return visits,’ said Julie Santos, an operations and policy analyst for DMV’s Field Services Group.

While most people arrive prepared to apply for new, renewal or replacement driving privileges or ID cards, many are not prepared. They’re calling DMV Customer Assistance for help in meeting the new requirements.

‘The volume of calls is up, and the length of calls has been longer as we help customers understand the new requirements and how they might obtain the necessary documents,’ said Kathy Bush of DMV’s Customer Assistance Section.If you have questions, you can reach DMV Customer Assistance specialists by calling your local DMV office;

  • Jackson County DMV – (541) 776-6025
  • Ashland – (541) 776-6092
  • Cave Junction – (541) 592-3133
  • Grants Pass – (541) 474-3179
  • Medford – (541) 776-6025
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