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The right documents will save you from a return trip to the DMV

July 24, 2013

If you’re coming in for a federally-compliant driver license, double check your documents

If you’ve ever undergone a name change and want a federally-compliant driver license or ID card from the Division of Motor Vehicles, be sure to bring along the proper documentation. One option is a valid U.S. passport listing your current name. Other acceptable documents include certified marriage certificates, records of divorce or court orders. "People coming in to get a federally-compliant driver license or ID card need to bring in a number of documents that prove U.S. citizenship, identity, Wisconsin residency, name and date of birth. If you’ve legally changed your name, we need proof of that as well," notes Bureau of Field Services Director Kristina Boardman. "We’re seeing that there is still some confusion regarding what to bring if your name has changed."

If your name has legally changed, and you:

  • Have a valid, unexpired U.S. Passport in your current name, you will not need to bring in additional documentation regarding past name changes.
  • Don’t have a valid, unexpired U.S. Passport in your current name, you will need to provide documents to support each change of your name from birth to the present date.
    • Marriage certificate (original, certified copy if original is not available)
    • Certified record of divorce
    • Certified court order

Currently, about one-third of DMV customers are choosing the federally-compliant products that, once federal rules take effect as expected in the future, can be used for boarding commercial aircraft or entering federal courthouses. Keep in mind that after visiting the DMV, it will take about a week to receive your actual driver license or ID card. It will arrive in your mail. More information can be found on the official DMV website.



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