Two pieces of identification needed for licenses

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Need a new Minnesota driver's license?

If you're a new resident to the state, be prepared to present two forms of identification in order to obtain a driver's license.

Before Monday, new residents only had to show their driver's license from the state they previously resided in.

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Now, new residents can still use their former driver's license for a form of identification, but will also need to present a birth certificate, valid passport or other form of valid identification.

"It really isn't going to be hard to do," said Joan Kopcinski of the Department of Public Safety's communications department. "If you have the paperwork and have the documentation, there's really no problem."

The rules also have changed for temporary residents to the United States. The words "Status Check" and a visa expiration date will be on the cards of those who are living here temporarily. After that date, the resident will have to present proof that he or she is allowed to stay in the country longer.

Permanent and indefinite residents will not have a status check on their driver's licenses, but have to present two forms of identification.

The rules were first proposed in January, partly as a measure to find terrorists. Judge Kenneth Nikkolai approved the rules June 24.

"There is no affect an anyone other first time applicants for driver's licenses," Kopcinski said.

Jim Connolly, exam and licensing manager with the state Department of Public Safety, said the changes for new residents haven't posed much of a problem. "As of now, we haven't noticed any real problems. Of course, it is brand new, but we don't expect to have many problems," Connolly said Monday. "It is a change, but most people won't notice any problems, because most of the people we deal with are renewing their licenses. Those people will still just have to present their old license and we'll clip the corner before issuing them a new one."

Cari Quam and Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 433-8851 or by e-mail at