Life in Florida Just Became a Bit Harder

Renewing your driver's license with a new name when getting married or divorced may be a thing of the past considering the major nuisance Homeland Security came up with now.

Shocks...he's an organ donor too!!!

This morning I caught one of the streaming TV News Channels on my laptop a story about wine and beer dispensers on a test in supermarkets in Pennsylvania. The huge store coolers require a driver’s license to be inserted in order for the door to open, allowing you to pick your poison of choice. How smart. Yet another function for the already multi purpose abuse of a driver’s license. Apparently the cooler scans the license, sends the information to the DOT or whatever other agency that stores the information and when everything is kosher, the door will open. The obvious irony here is that people without a driver’s license cannot get alcohol or get drunk, while those who do have one, can and then drive drunk. Besides, how easy is it to now borrow (beg or steal?) someone else’s license and get your favorite brew or merlot without a second glance.

While it’s booze in Pennsylvania, here in Florida the process of getting a driver’s license just made life a bit harder as well. It used to take an average 20 minutes at the local Tax Collector’s Office or the Driver’s License bureau in Yulee and you were good for another 7 years.

Since July 1 however, you may want to take a book and a lunch bag with you because it’s going to take a full lunch hour to get that piece of plastic. And if you don’t bring every piece of certified information that proves who you are, where you live and your verifiable citizenship status, you may as well buy a bike or drive without a license, which of course means you can’t buy wine or beer in Pennsylvania?!

Actually these changes already took effect on Jan. 1, but most folks don’t know about them. Homeland Security took everything up a notch on the federal level and implementations by the states are slowly filtering through.  People coming in for a new license now need five different documents, but they often learn that only after a long wait in line. No wonder therefore that the word from several Florida cities is that it has become ugly on occasion and police assistance has been requested in a growing number of cases. I recently spend a morning in the Nassau County courthouse on account of a speeding ticket and judging from the number of driver’s license cases that went in front of the judge, I can safely assume that life for a lot of people will take a different route with these new laws in place.

Here is what you need to know as an upstanding citizen or legal residnet: In the event that you need a new license or your license is up for renewal, you need to comply with the Federal Real ID Act which provides residents with more secure identification, says Homeland Security, an agency tasked with compiling the most indepth database on citizens possible, including certified birth date, address and proper name — a record of every person from birth to now. For the record, Florida was one of the first states to adopt these federal changes.

Now the documentation rules apply ONLY if you are applying for your first driver’s license or ID card; when a current credential expires and you already used the one-time “convenience” renewal option; or when you legally change your name by marriage or divorce. All documentation has to be an original or certified copy which includes the embossed seal. Officials say that the new rule should cut down on illegal immigrants with false IDs and improve databases for less voter fraud (??). This of course begs the question, How big is voter fraud really?

Even though I know that I’m in the minority here, I won’t apologize for finding this whole development scary. The United States Constitution was written to protect us against the power of the state, and now we allow the state to turn this around on us.?! The Country that once stood for freedom is no more. (now let the comments start).

Anyway these are the new License requirements

For extended information go to,  but otherwise here is an shortform list of what is now required when applying for a driver’s license.

– Primary identification:
Original or certified copy of U.S. birth certificate, valid U.S. passport or passport card, certificate of naturalization or certificate of citizenship. A birth certificate must be issued by a government agency; hospital birth certificates cannot be accepted. Marriage certificates, court orders or divorce decrees must be provided to tie the name on the primary identification to the name the customer wants on the driver’s license or ID card.

– Proof of Social Security number
: Original Social Security card in your current full name, W-2 form, paycheck or stub, SSA-1099.

– Two proofs of address (Internet printouts or faxes are acceptable): Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, payment booklet or residential rental/lease agreement, Florida boat registration or title (if living on a boat), two proofs of residential address from parent/step-parent/legal guardian or other person with whom the applicant resides and a statement from them combined with two proofs of their residential address, school transcript forms for the current year, unexpired professional license issued by a U.S. government agency, W-2 or 1099 form, or letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service or a halfway house verifying they receive mail for the customer. The letter must be accompanied by the Certification of Address Form.

Note 1: Transients, sexual offenders, predators and career offenders must have a Florida Department of Law Enforcement registration form completed by the local sheriff’s office.

Note 2: A current driver’s license or ID card may not be used as proof of residential address. The name on the Social Security card must match the name that will appear on the Florida driver’s license or ID card.


  1. Carmen Martinez

    I recently lost my license and had to apply for a new one. As you say, I went to the DMV and said I needed a new license. There I was informed of the new rules, the ones you quote in your article. Looking in my purse, I failed to find my embossed birth certificate, passport, my original social security card or my (why would I carry that around, what if I lost it and someone found it?) or even my passport, as I was not planning to skip the country. After an initial bout of silent rage I asked what time they opened in the morning as I needed the license to get on an airplane to California the next day (I did not need any beer in Pennsylvania). I was told I could return with my many documents at 7:15 am. I had no choice but to COMPLY with these rules which made me feel annoyed and saddened that our govenment has come to this.

  2. tommylee

    Well, we have to keep all those new Government employees employed, don't we. So these agencies “invent” all new rules and regulations to keep themselves employed…!!! Is there logic to the statement.

    Of course what happens is that they “invent” this crap and then realize that it is too much to handle so new people must be government employed else the delays will grow beyond the reasonable (a day?). This means that those again have to be “supplied” with enough work so there you go … New stipulations,more forms and lesser trees!!!

    Soon 65% of the US population will work for a Government or related agency like in Antigua and the Social state is born.

    You know the Irony of it all is that “Aliens” will have to foot this bill when visiting the US since no one produces anything anymore except how to handle a “stamp”, a “seal” or a fingerprint machine readout… on paper of course.

    Welcome to the Idiocy of Bureaucracy. The merry-go-round of “creative, self-important, Self-serving, Must not lose my cushy job” bureaucrats.

    Oh, but wait, soon in Pennsylvania, they will post and Alcohol and Tobacco Driver's license checker bureaucrat!!! to back-up the machine. Now there you got new employment.

  3. Ameliaprivateeye

    My son, who moved back to Florida after attending college (he had changed his residency to another state), also had to return home for additional documents to get a Florida license, inconvenient, yes, but nothing to get upset over. THEN my 15 year old who took the eye and written exam to get her learner's permit was able to do so without so much as a signature from me! Now, none of our utility bills are in her name so she used a bank statement from her savings account and a savings bond that both showed her current address. She also had her social security card and a certified birth certificate… that was it! Showing adequate proof of residency was not an issue and she breezed right through the process. As a parent though, I did find it rather odd that I, as her legal guardian, didn't have to “sign” anything at all. None of her ID had her picture on it and they sure didn't compare her footprints to the ones on her birth certificate. Maybe by the time she has teenaged children of her own – proof of identity will be a retina scan or a DNA test? LOL

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