COLUMBUS — Last year, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles introduced new driver’s license and identification cards. There are now two types of driver’s license/identification cards available — compliant and standard — with different documents required to obtain them. The BMV is encouraging Ohioans to renew their licenses by Oct. 1, 2020.

Why did the change occur?

The new cards were designed to provide greater security and identity protection as well as meet federal guidelines outlined in the REAL ID act.

Do I still renew my license at the BMV?

Yes, those who want to apply for or renew their driver’s license will still do so by visiting an Ohio BMV deputy registrar license agency; however, they won’t leave with a new ID card. Instead, customers will receive interim documentation confirming their authorization to drive and their license will be mailed approximately 10 days later.

Which license should I choose?

License holders will be able to choose either a standard identification card or compliant identification card. Both will serve as acceptable proof of identity for buying alcohol, obtaining social services or registering to vote; however, only compliant cards will meet new national travel security requirements. This means that only compliant cards will serve as an accepted form of identification for boarding a commercial plane or accessing federal facilities and military bases after Oct. 1, 2020.

Does the compliant license cost more?

No, the fees for both cards are the same.

Why should I renew by Oct. 1, 2020?

It is not mandatory to renew your license by Oct. 1, 2020, but that is when the REAL ID act will take full effect. This means that after Oct. 1, 2020, only compliant driver’s license will be an acceptable form of ID to grant access to federal facilities, military bases and domestic flights. It will be possible to board a plane with an old driver’s license or standard identification card, but travelers will have to present another acceptable form of identification, such as a passport or permanent resident card to fly in the United States. (International flights will still require a passport.)

What documents do I need to renew my license?

No additional identity documents are required to get a standard license, unless you are getting a driver’s license for the first time.

In order to get or renew a compliant license, you must have documents proving your full legal name (including any name changes), your date of birth, your legal presence in the United States, your social security number and your Ohio street address. A complaint license requires two different documents with an Ohio street address — such as a bank or credit card statement, utility bill or tax statement.

How do I prove legal name changes?

If your legal name has changed for any reason, you must offer documentation showing why your current legal name does not match the one on your birth certificate.

For example, women who have married, divorced or remarried now have to bring a paper trail of documents next time they renew their license.

A document on the Ohio BMV’s website states, “If you have had more than one marriage, you may need to bring documentation from each marriage and/or divorce to connect your birth certificate, passport or US Department of Homeland Security documents to your current legal name.”

The DMV designates a marriage certificate or license, a certified copy of a divorce, dissolution or marriage annulment decree or a certified copy of a court-ordered name change as acceptable proof of name change documents.

For some people, this could require traveling to former hometowns to get the right paperwork. Some counties may allow requests for documents via mail.

“If it was in a different state, a different county, you have to go where you got your (marriage) license,” said Denise Ferenbaugh, deputy clerk of the Knox County Records Center.

Ferenbaugh said she gets a lot more visits at the records center since the change in procedure.

Before the driver’s license change, she estimates she saw about one visitor a month. Now it’s one or two people a day.

“It’s not like they’re busting down the doors, but you do have them pretty much every day now,” she said.

Copies of these documents are also available through the probate court.

“We have a lot of requests coming in,” said Diane Randall, probate court administrator. “If they’ve been married more than once, I know the BMV has to trace it back to the birth name. Females have to be able to show why their name is different now than when they were married. So a lot of times people have to come in and get numerous marriage certificates.”

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Katie Ellington: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @kt_ellington