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Editorial: Renewing licenses

Monday, May 8, 2006

A bill in the Missouri Legislature would relieve the state's senior citizens and longtime drivers of the responsibility to present a birth certificate or U.S. passport when renewing their driver's license.

Under the legislation, individuals 65 and over or those who have been licensed drivers in the state for 15 years or more could present their current license as proof of residence when renewing.

State officials say some seniors are having difficulty locating either a birth certificate or passport, causing delays in licensing. Others don't realize the rules have changed and are surprised when they come to the license office.

More than 700,000 of Missouri's 4.4 million driver's licenses are held by people 65 and older.

Rules requiring the new proof were instituted after the 9-11 terrorist attacks raised fears about people entering the country illegally.

The legislation would have to be passed by the end of the session Friday or could be brought up again in the next session.

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