Drivers' License I.D. Bill Proves a Hassle to All

September 25 2006, 8:59 AM

The Colorado legislature enacted a tough bill requiring those seeking drivers' licenses to provide proof of citizenship. It was aimed at catching undocumented residents. But, it's causing trouble for everyone.

When state Sen. Andy McElhany helped pass a tough anti-illegal immigration measure this summer, he never expected his family to get caught up in the red tape. Earlier this month, a Colorado Springs driver's license office refused to issue McElhany's 15-year- old daughter a learner's permit when she presented a passport to prove she is a bona fide Colorado resident and U.S. citizen. "Our daughter is a legal citizen with a legal passport," said McElhany, R-Colorado Springs. "There is no reason to believe a 15-year-old has a fake passport."

What gives? Under the new law, a passport is not enough. You need a passport and a birth certificate or social security card to get a drivers' license. The problem, accroding to Sen. McElhany, is the ever-changing rules.

Most residents are unaware of the changes, however, and confusion is rampant at many Division of Motor Vehicle offices. "You need to have a policy in place, but you need to tell people what the policy is so they'll know what to expect to get an ID," McElhany said. "What's going on now is crazy."

Before you head out to the Motor Vehicles office to get your license, be sure to check the requirements that day. You can find them here.