January 17, 2008
Temporary OARs take effect February 4
Radio MP3: Download an MP3 version of FAQs at www.oregon.gov/ODOT/COMM/radionews.shtml
Other downloads: Brochures with lists of acceptable documents and FAQs are posted at www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/news/id_news.shtml
SALEM – The Oregon Transportation Commission adopted new rules today (Thursday, Jan. 17) governing the issuance of driver licenses, instruction permits and ID cards. The rules take effect Feb. 4.
Under the new rules, when a customer comes to a DMV office to apply for a first-time, renewal or replacement card, DMV will electronically verify the Social Security number provided by the customer.
"Current driver license and ID card holders don’t need to do anything until their card expires," DMV Administrator Tom McClellan said. "Starting Feb. 4, the new rules will apply when each customer applies for driving privileges or an ID card for the first time, or when each current card holder renews an existing card or replaces a lost one."
Applicants whose SSNs can be verified will need to present DMV with at least one other ID document from a new list of acceptable documents adopted by the commission. Those documents include the customer’s expiring Oregon Driver License, a valid driver license from the customer's prior home state, a U.S. or Canadian government-issued birth certificate, or a U.S. passport that is not expired more than five years.
Applicants whose SSNs cannot be verified will need to work with the federal Social Security Administration to correct the problem before DMV can complete the customer’s transaction. The SSA can be contacted at www.socialsecurity.gov or 1-800-772-1213.
In addition to these ID and age requirements, applicants must provide DMV with proof of residence in Oregon, and they must pass tests to qualify for driving privileges.
DMV has the discretion to request more than one piece of identification from customers. A complete list of acceptable documents is available at DMV offices and at www.Oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/.
There are several reasons why an SSN cannot be verified, such as a name change or a discrepancy in a name's spelling or a person's date of birth between DMV records and the Social Security Administration records.
"Based on the experiences of other states, between one percent and four percent of applicants’ Social Security numbers won’t be verifiable," McClellan said. "If DMV and the customer can't resolve the problem, the customer will need to work with the Social Security Administration to correct the problem before DMV can issue driving privileges or an ID card."
Under the new rules, Oregonians who do not have an SSN still may apply for driving privileges or an ID card. These applicants must sign a statement that they never have been assigned an SSN, and they must present at least one document from a DMV list of U.S.-issued identification. These include a U.S. passport that is not expired or is expired no more than five years, an immigrant visa issued by the U.S. State Department, or a valid foreign passport with unexpired U.S. Department of Homeland Security documentation.
Oregon has revised its driver license and ID card issuance rules as a result of Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s Executive Order No. 07-22 on Nov. 16, 2007. The order directed DMV to tighten ID requirements as quickly as possible in order to reduce fraud by bringing Oregon's requirements in line with national standards. Nearly all other states verify all drivers' SSNs, whereas Oregon has been verifying only those of commercial drivers.
"Oregon’s previous rules attracted people from other states to come here and falsely claim to be Oregon residents,” McClellan said. “Bringing Oregon’s requirements in line with those of other states removes the incentive for these false applications. And the tighter requirements and shorter lists of acceptable documents help prevent ID theft and fraud, as well as make the application process simpler."
However, the new rules deal only with ID requirements and do not address broader debates about whether Oregon should require proof of U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status, whether a license’s expiration date should be tied to a visa expiration date, or many other requirements proposed under the federal Real ID Act. Oregon has not made a decision about whether to comply with the Real ID Act.
"This change does not make the Oregon Driver License or ID Card proof of citizenship or legal immigration status, proof of entitlement to government benefits or proof of eligibility to vote," McClellan said. "Those things will continue to have their own eligibility standards."