Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles is launching a major new license identity verification program soon for those renewing their driver licenses and identification cards. Under the federally-mandated program, the DMV will ask people whether they want their identity verified, which requires more stringent paperwork when going to the DMV to renew a license. However, those who pass the requirements will get a gold star on their license, which will allow them to avoid some security measures at airports and federal facilities.
The program gives renewing drivers a choice of whether they want to show original identity documents to establish an historical record of their identity with the DMV, as well as for federal identification purposes. Customers can also decline the verification and simply get a regular driver's license or ID card.
The DMV will kick off a statewide radio advertising campaign Monday for the new program. Paid with federal grant funds, the ad campaign will tell people about the license choice and briefly explain the differences between the two options. It will also remind people to be prepared when they come to the DMV for their renewal.
Through the program, called SelectCT ID, people verifying will get a gold star on the license or ID card. Those declining will have one stamped "Not for Federal Identification." Those without verification could face extra federal screening under a proposed program slated to go into effect in 2017 for airports and federal buildings and which also could be used for possible commercial transactions.
“This is a federal program that we must start now so that in six years we comply with federal law that all license and ID card holders have been given this choice,” said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey. Details of the program can be found here.
The program stems from the increased security concerns after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. It is also designed to offer residents additional protection against identity theft by having a historical record of proven original identity documents shown to the DMV.
The program, which begins Oct. 3, will be phased in during the next six years as all licenses and ID cards come up for renewal. The renewal date is on the front of the card.
People who want a license or ID card indicating their identity was verified by DMV will need to present certain original documents like a birth certificate, a valid U.S. passport or other primary documents, proof of name changes including as a result of marriage, divorce, etc. as well as of current address.
Anyone not wanting this verification can simply decline and renew their regular license or DMV-issued ID card. If someone declines, a valid U.S. passport can serve the same purpose as the verified license or ID card at federal screening checkpoints.
Non-U.S. citizens who request the identity check must show various identity documents and legal presence in the U.S. that DMV will verify online. Without legal presence, DMV will not renew the driver's license or DMV-issued ID card.
Unless a non-U.S. citizen has a permanent resident card or a certificate of naturalization, the person should not ask for a verified renewal.
Anyone with a renewed license can drive legally regardless of whether an identity check is done.
Connecticut currently requires all new applicants for driver licenses or DMV-issued ID card to have this identity verification. The cost of the driver license or ID card renewals is the same whether identity is verified or not. Regular license renewal for 6 years is $66; anyone 65 years or older can renew for two years at $22; commercial driver's license renewal is every 4 years and is $60. DMV-issued ID cards are renewed for $22.50 for six years.