New rules create roadblocks for man trying to replace driver license

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WEST JORDAN -- A man from West Jordan, who has had a Utah driver license for years, is mystified by hurdles he's faced in getting a lost license replaced. The hitch happened as a result of a new driver license requirement that went into effect this year.

A month ago, Russ Anderson lost his Utah driver license. He got a surprise when he went to the state's Driver License Division to get a new one.

"They said, ‘It's rejected. You gotta have a birth certificate. That won't work,'" Anderson said.

Anderson was born in Colorado and has a hospital birth certificate, but apparently a state-issued birth certificate was never created. He was told to get a passport.

"But I was rejected because I did not have a driver's license," Anderson said.

He tried to use a copy of his DD-214 form, his military discharge papers from when he served as a Marine during Vietnam, but had no luck.

"First, Congress started worrying about terrorism, then they passed the REAL ID Act, and then Utah responded, and this became a worthless piece of paper," Armstrong said, referring to his DD-214 form.

Numerous, persistent attempts to get his license failed.

"I'm wondering, can I ever buy a car, or sell, or move my home, or get on an airplane, or drive to the grocery store again?" Anderson said.

His struggles come after a new state law went into effect Jan. 1. It requires proof of identity and citizenship, a Social Security card and a Utah address.

"Basically, just be prepared. When you come in to get your driver license -- if it's the first time that you're getting a driver license, after January 1 -- you are going to be required to bring in these documents," said Jill Laws, deputy director of the Utah Driver License Division.

The state can make an exception based on submitting additional documents; that's what Anderson did.

While KSL was at Anderson's home Tuesday to interview him, he found out that his appeals were successful and the state would send him his new license soon.

The Driver License Division says Anderson's situation is relatively rare. This year, about 800 people who used to have a regular driver license could only receive driving privilege cards, for various reasons. If you have questions, call the Driver License Division.


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