I have just had my West Virginia driver's license renewed. While I have heard a lot of complaints about what a difficult time some people have had getting a new drivers license, I had no problems at all.
I went to the new Division of Motor Vehicles office in Parkersburg. When I got there about 10 people were ahead of me in the line. When my turn came I took an eye exam and was assigned a number. This number was called when it was my time at a window where a clerk took all the information I needed to have my new license issued. Fortunately I had a newspaper article which listed all of the information I should to take with me to the DMV. This list includes: one proof of identity; one proof of social security number; proof of any legal name change; and two proofs of West Virginia residency.
I gave this information to the clerk, had my picture taken and was issued a temporary license to be used until my permanent license was received. This whole process took less than an hour. My new license is good for five years and can be renewed at the end of that time without again having to give all the information which I had to present to get my present license.
I will say that my time spent in the Parkersburg DMV office was very pleasant. The people who waited on me were all courteous. They knew what they were doing and they were efficient.
This new license procedure is not a requirement of West Virginia state government but is a nationwide effort mandated by the federal government to improve the integrity and security of all driver's licenses. The goals of this new program are to reduce identity theft, make it more difficult for criminals to obtain false identities, protect your personal information, and help fight terrorism.
In addition to enhancing the security of all West Virginia licenses and ID cards, you will now have the option to choose a license or ID card that is certified as REAL ID compliant for federal use. The ID card meets full federal requirements for use at airports and other designated Federal facilities across the U.S.
This new license has been in works since 9/11. The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles under the leadership of now acting DMV Commissioner, Steve Dale, has been making changes to our license procedure to prepare us for coming into compliance with the federal mandates.