Daniels: New BMV ID Requirements Optional, For Now

Governor Says Public Outcry Prompted Change

Gov. Mitch Daniels said Wednesday that new Bureau of Motor Vehicles identification requirements will be optional for a period of six years as the state transitions to a much more stringent system of checks and balances required by a federal mandate.

Last month, the BMV announced that motorists will have to provide four layers of personal documents when they obtain or renew a driver's license beginning in January 2010, with everyone shifted to the new system by the end of 2016.

Daniels said public pressure after that announcement forced reconsideration of the issue. Obtaining the new SecureID will now be optional for people who already have a new driver's license or identification card.

"We encourage citizens to obtain a SecureID license when it is time to renew, but we’re giving everyone the full six-year period in order to maximize convenience," Daniels said. "Our BMV is now nationally-recognized for its short visit times and friendly customer service, and we intend to keep it that way."

Daniels said the policy change could be made because the federal government will probably not enforce possession of the new ID card until 2016.

"Indiana will issue a non-compliant ID, and you'll have any time up until the federal deadline to come and upgrade it," he said.

To get the SecureID card, residents must show documents that verify identity, lawful status, Social Security Number and residency.

Those who choose to do so can still renew their driver's licenses without a secure ID, but must still obtain the new license by 2016.

People who are requesting new driver's licenses or IDs will be required to obtain the new federally compliant card.

To get a SecureID, Hoosiers must:

  • provide a birth certificate or U.S. passport
  • provide a Social Security Card, W-2 form, 1099 form or another federal government document that shows SSN
  • provide two forms that confirm Indiana residency -- bank statement, utility bill, credit card statement
  • A list of alternate documents can be found at the BMV Web Site.

    Motorists will also no longer walk out of a BMV branch with a license. Temporary permits will be issued that will last 14 days.

    The BMV branch will forward paperwork and pictures to Indianapolis, where it will be compared, using facial recognition software, with pictures in a national database to confirm identities.

    Licenses will then be mailed to motorists after that process is complete.

    BMV Comissioner Andy Miller said that system is safe, but there will be an alternative for people worried about their licenses being lost in the mail.

    "The other option, if citizens are genuinely concerned about that, they can actually have it sent back to the branch, and they can show up within three to five days and get it here," he said.

    Daniels said that the BMV will accept alternative documents, in some cases. People who were not issued a birth certificate, for example, can submit other documentation, such as church, hospital or school records.

    Twenty-five other states already have adopted the central issuance procedure or are enacting it this year, Daniels said.