Some find new driver’s license requirements troublesome
Gary and Kathleen Giardina said new driver’s license requirements left them repeatedly scurrying between the office, home and Fort Myers for the necessary documents because they felt the new rules haven’t been made clear since they were changed earlier this year.
Kathleen was trying to get a new driver’s license after the Giardinas were recently married.
According to Gary, the couple not only got the runaround at the now closed Van Loon Lane office, but were never given a clear idea of the documents they needed.
“We thought we had the necessary things for the renewal,” he said. “They chased us out of there and didn’t even want to look at what we had.”
The new rules went into effect Jan. 1 of this year.
The Giardinas said that while online information is correct, information released to news outlets was incomplete.
Without ever having a clear picture of the necessary paperwork, Gary Giardina said the process has become cumbersome and confusing.
“When you walk out of these offices you feel like you’ve done something wrong when you’re just trying to get the licensed renewed,” he said. “It’s a stressing thing.”
Courteney Heidelberg from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee said information regarding document requirements are available online and in tax collectors offices.
Heidelberg said she understood the frustrations of people like the Giardinas, and admitted that name changes through marriages and divorces are more complicated than other procedures through the new requirements.
“(They) are one of those audiences who have to bring a little more paper work than others,” she said.
The new state requirements are an extension of federal mandates to tighten laws on identification.
Heidelberg said, too, that stricter requirements will mean greater protection against identity theft and fraud.
“This is not just for domestic security, but identification fraud and theft,” Heidelberg said. “It might seem like a lot of hassle, but it will benefit everyone.”
For more information on the new identification requirements visit gathergoget.com, or call 850-617-3995.
Flyers containing the information are also available in tax collectors offices throughout Lee County.