KCUR News
10:00 am
Mon June 19, 2006

New Law Simplifies Getting Driver's License, Voter ID

Kansas City, MO – With the new Missouri photo-voter-ID law in effect, concerns continue about a November voting gridlock. But Department of Revenue officials say the task of getting ready is less demanding than some people think.
Deputy Director of Revenue Lowell Pearson says 96 percent of Missourians already have ID cards that will work at the polls.

Pearson:
That for most people is the Missouri driver's license. For others it will be a Missouri non-driver license that's the photo ID that looks just like a driver license but doesn't let you operate a vehicle on the road. And other folks will have a military ID or some other form of identification.

Pearson cautions non-drivers planning to use state-issued employment or student ID. Those cards will work only if they bear an expiration date. Most don't.

As for the most common voter ID, the Missouri driver's license, the new law waives the requirement of a certified birth certificate for persons over 65 who are renewing their license. Pearson says that will eliminate what has been a hardship for many seniors.

Pearson:
They're the ones that have the most difficult time getting a birth certificate. You know, the records are old, they may have been lost along the way.

Lawmakers also gave some people who were having trouble getting their documentation together some extra time.

Pearson:
If they don't have the birth certificate that they need or other documents to renew their driver's license but they've had a Missouri driver's license for at least 15 years, they can get a one year extension. That gives them some extra time to do that.

Getting a driver's license or a state voter ID also requires proof of identity, such as a social security number and proof of residence, such as a paid bill or bank statement with the applicant's name and address on it. Plus, of course, waiting in line at the license office.