The driver’s license test gets tougher 

Under state and federal legislation enacted this year, renewing a driver’s license will become more complicated and time-consuming. The semi-good news is that it won’t happen immediately. The 2005 Arkansas legislature approved the “Driver’s License Security and Modernization Act,” which will take effect Jan. 31. After that date, people seeking an Arkansas driver’s license for the first time (mostly young people who’ve just reached the age of 14) will have to produce more proof of identity and more proof that they’re in the country legally. A certain amount of this sort of documentation already is required for first-time applicants. Birth certificates, Social Security cards and draft registrations are among the papers that can be used. The new Arkansas law makes no substantial change in the requirements for renewal of a driver’s license. Renewals account for more than 90 percent of the 720,000 licenses issued in Arkansas each year. All that’s required for renewal now is passing an eye examination and having a new photograph made to put on the license. That procedure essentially will continue even after Jan. 31. For awhile, that is. But a big shoe is waiting to drop, in the form of federal legislation approved last week. The federal law, too, will require more documentation for getting a driver’s license, as part of the federal government’s anti-terrorism program. Until now, the federals have left driver licensing to the states. The federal law differs from the state law in that it will apply to renewals as well as to first-time licenses. It’s known that one thing that eventually will be required is something to prove residency in the state — a utility bill, a mortgage, a lease, for example. Preston Means, assistant commissioner of revenue, said that the state won’t know the full extent of the federal requirements until the federal government adopts regulations implementing the new law. At the moment, the state doesn’t even know when those regulations will be adopted, except that it’ll be sometime in the next three years. That’s the deadline for states to comply with the federal law. The Revenue Division will issue news releases as new requirements become effective, Means said. “We want to make sure that taxpayers have all the documents they need, so they can do it all in one trip,” he said. Some things about the new federal requirements are certain, Means said. “There’ll be a lot more burden placed on the taxpayer. It will take longer to issue the license. The taxpayer will have to spend more time in the office.” It remains to be seen whether the new requirements will bother terrorists. But they’ll certainly bother the rest of us.

From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

  • Woo. An open line

    The open line. Hogs, Trump, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Driver killed in crash with Maumelle officer

    Maumelle police report the death early this morning of a motorist who crashed head-on with a Maumelle police officer. The officer and two passengers in the other vehicle were injured.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation