Some 200,000 South Dakotans have renewed driver licenses already

Nearly 200,000 South Dakotans have received or renewed their driver licenses in the 16 months since the State implemented security documentation required by federal law.

That�s nearly one-third of the 602,000 South Dakota residents who hold a driver license or non-driver ID card, says Cindy Gerber, director of the State Driver Licensing Program.

�We knew there would be a learning curve and some frustration when the requirements took effect,�� Gerber said. �There has been, but South Dakotans generally have adjusted and are able to present the basic documents needed to complete the process successfully.��

The 2009 Legislature passed a law bringing the state into compliance with the federal requirements, and the phase-in of the new, more-secure driver licenses began on Dec. 31, 2009. Since then, an average of 13,300 people a month have successfully obtained or renewed a driver license or ID card.

A South Dakota Driver license or ID card is valid for five years. The additional documentation is a one-time requirement, Gerber reminded citizens.

�Once a person has a federally compliant license, that card and two proofs of a current address will be the only documents necessary to renew the license in five years,�� she said.

Gerber encouraged anyone struggling to find any of the documents required by federal regulations to call the Driver Licensing Program at 1-800-952-3696 or visit the web site at www.dps.sd.gov.

�We will do whatever we can to help applicants have a successful experience with our program,�� she said. �We can provide a temporary permit for persons experiencing delays in obtaining the needed documents. In some case, if people find they simply can�t produce one of the documents, hardship exceptions may be available. We really want people to contact us and see if we can work together in those situations.��

Here is a summary of the documents required for obtaining a driver license:

One identity document, such as a certified birth certificate or a valid unexpired U.S. passport. (Note: If your name is different than the name on your identity document, you will need to bring additional proof of your legal name, such as a certified marriage certificate, adoption document, or divorce decree. A passport will work, if the name on the passport matches the name on your current driver license).

One document proving Social Security number. Acceptable documents are a Social Security card, W-2 form, SSA 1099 form or pay stub (which must include Social Security number and name)

Two documents proving residential address. Acceptable documents include utility bill, credit card statement, pay stub, rent receipt, phone bill, transcript or report card from accredited school, bank statement, mortgage or tax document, homeowner or renter insurance policy. (A parent's proof of address is acceptable for a minor child.)

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