Securing Vital Records to Get a Driver’s License Renewed

In December 10, 2014

Renewing a driver’s license is not on the top of anyone’s list of favorite things to do. Luckily, departments of driver services across the country are doing everything they can to make the process easier for drivers – without compromising the security of critical identification like a driver’s license. This includes making the waiting areas more comfortable, offering Wi-Fi and vending machines and some states even allow you to take care of some tasks with a self-service kiosk or online. While there are certain things that will always be an issue, such as obtaining and putting together the vital records and other needed documents, these tips may make things a little easier when it’s time to get your license renewed.

  • Get Online – Even if you can’t do your renewal online, you can obtain much of the documentation you need online ahead of time. Proof of address can be in the form of a printable online bank statement or utility bill. You may be able to fill out some of the needed paperwork using an online form before you go down to the department of driver services office. Even ordering your birth certificate, for proof of identity and citizenship, can be done online for most states.
  • Choose Reputable Sources – If you do turn online to order a new copy of your birth certificate, make sure you are ordering from a legitimate resource. You will need a government approved certified copy for your driver’s license renewal, which should be requested only from sources authorized to process your request. A great place to start is the website of the official government vital record agency in the state, county, and/or city where you were born – they will list the authorized methods of ordering, including online if available.
  • Remember the Social Security Card – Your Social Security card may be necessary for renewing your license as well. If you do not have this, you will have to visit your local Social Security Office and show proof of your identity (a current driver’s license, marriage certificate if your name is changing, and perhaps other documents) before they will issue another card—which will be mailed to you, not given to you that day.
  • Name Changes – If you are changing the name on your driver’s license at the same time you renew it, you will likely have some additional hoops to jump through. This will generally include providing a copy of your marriage record, as proof of your name change. You can obtain this from the courthouse or clerk’s office who issued it and you may be able to order it online as well.

When you get all of your documents together to go get your driver’s license, keep them in a folder or envelope so you don’t risk losing them. These are very important pieces of paper and not something you want in the wrong hands! After you’ve gotten through the wait, dealt with the red tape and had your lovely new driver’s license picture taken, make sure you find a safe place to stow your vital records so that you don’t have to scramble for the next renewal. Even if it’s five or ten years down the road, you’ll be prepared!





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