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Re: Getting a Driver License

Good Afternoon Ms. Jaeger,


Thank you for using the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website.


Effective January 14, 2013, Wisconsin DMV began issuing driver licenses and ID cards that meet new federal REAL ID requirements. While all Wisconsin licenses and ID cards will be valid for federal uses for the next few years, at some point before your next renewal, a REAL ID license or ID card will be required for identification at airports and federal buildings.


The cost to renew your existing ID card or get a REAL ID compliant card will be the same.


If you want a REAL ID compliant driver license, you must also provide proof of:

  • Name, Date of Birth (Certified Birth Certificate or Valid U.S. Passport)
  • Citizenship or legal status in the U.S. (Certified Birth Certificate or Valid U.S. Passport)
  • Identity (Current Driver License or social security card)
  • Social Security Number (Social Security Card, W2 or 1099)
  • Wisconsin residency (where you live) (Utility Bill, Bank Statement, pay check stub, etc.)
  • Name change (if applicable – if your current last name is different from your name on the Birth Certificate)*
    • This is necessary for every name change you have made to show the transition from one name to the next from birth name to your current name.


*If you have a valid U.S. Passport in your current last name you do not need to provide proof of Name Change.


From this canned response, I believe (and it's still not that clear, and certainly not answering the specific question I asked) that ladies, you do need a marriage license to prove your name is different from that on your birth certificate. A sad waste of $20, more if they don't accept Lisa's not-as-official-as-mine birth certificate. All to get into a database, be allowed in airports (haven't done it in fifteen years), and go into federal buildings (why would anyone ever do that?), which now makes me ask why have one when she can spend a bit more and have a passport, unless that stupid passport needs a marriage license. 

Written by Brian Jaeger, owner of Satisfamily, McNewsy, PassivNinja, Educabana, RealWisconsinNews, ManCrushFanClub, WildWestAllis, SitcomLifeLessons, and VoucherSchool.