New Georgia driver's license rules might slow renewals

Drivers wait turn as law changed this month.

They chewed gum, they texted and they talked. But mostly, they just waited.


Lines moved slowly Friday at Georgia’s Department of Driver Services offices, where new statewide rules took effect this week requiring those renewing a license to show documents to prove their identity and address.

“I came in at 9:50 this morning and I’m out at 11:20,” said Jennifer Smith, of Martinez, who renewed her license and processed name and address changes at the department’s Evans office. “It was a little slow, but I think 90 minutes was very good.”

Under the new rules, customers applying for or renewing a driver’s license must go to a Department of Driver Services office in person and present proof of identity, proof of Social Security number, and two documents proving residential address. That requirement was already in place for people applying for their first license, but rules taking effect July 1 extend it to renewals.

By midday, 55 people were in the waiting room of the Evans office, but the lines moved steadily. Paul Lee, also of Martinez, was part of Friday’s post-holiday crowd but didn’t plan to wait.

“I just came by to get the list of what I need to bring, so when I do wait in line, I’ll have everything,” he said.

Elsewhere in Georgia, officials reported much longer lines. Television stations reported waits of five hours or more at offices in Norcross and Sandy Springs this week.

DDS spokeswoman Susan Sports said Georgia made the changes after the federal government required states to develop more secure identification after Sept. 11

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

What you need

Under the new rules, if you are applying for or renewing a driver’s license, you must go to a Department of Driver Services office in person and present:

• Proof of identity (an original or certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, certificate of naturalization, or certificate of citizenship)

• Proof of Social Security (Social Security card, tax form or pay stub with Social Security number)

• Two documents proving where you live (utility bill, bank statement, property tax bill)


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