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On July 1, 2010, the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) began offering secure driver licenses and identification cards to our customers. On your next visit to the Delaware DMV, you can expect to see several changes to our driver license and identification card issuance process.
This means that what you need to bring with you when applying for or renewing your driver license or identification card has changed. Please take a moment to review the procedures and find out what documents you will need to COLLECT and BRING with you so you can SECURE your new driver license or identification card.

New Federal Identification Standards



The 9-11 Commission, which was formed following terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, issued several recommendations and requirements that were aimed at improving our nation's security. One powerful and challenging requirement was the development of federal identification standards for states to follow when issuing driver licenses and identification cards. These identification standards are intended to combat terrorism, identity theft, and other crimes by strengthening the integrity and security of state-issued identification documents

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  • Certain information and security features that must be incorporated into each card
  • Source documentation must be provided for proof of identity, lawful status in the U.S., date of birth, social security number, and primary residence address (compliant DL/ID acceptable documentation list)
  • Source documentation provided by an applicant must be verified
  • Security and privacy of personal information collected when applying for a driver license or identification card must remain a top priority

What is the Delaware DMV doing?


Delaware DMV's processes comply with federal identification standards. We:

Have Reversed our customer flow to allow for the driver license or identification card photo to be taken right at the beginning of the issuance process.

Have updated the look and security of our driver licenses and identification cards to make them extremely difficult to replicate.

Are comparing all driver license and identification card photos to our facial recognition database to ensure customers standing in front of us are who they say they are.

Are producing and issuing our driver licenses and identification cards from a highly secure card production room.


Our process gives the Delaware DMV the ability to offer our customers federally compliant driver licenses and identification cards, and our customer flow is streamlined due to a reduction in the number of lines customers have to wait in.

A big change for Delaware residents is the one-time revalidation of all source documentation used for obtaining a driver license or identification card. For existing driver license or identification card holders, you will be presenting original source documents at the time of renewal like you did the first time you obtained your driver license or identification card. Again, this is a one-time revalidation; the only time the DMV will need to see your source documents again is if you decide to change any of the information on your driver license or identification card, such as a name change, or if your immigration documents expire. All new applicants will already be required to show this documentation, so for them it will be business as usual. Below you will find a complete list of acceptable source documentation.

Some existing customers may not want or be able to bring these documents. If you are unable to produce these documents, you may obtain a non-compliant driver license or identification card. A compliant driver license or identification card is distinguishable by the gold star in the upper right corner, and a non-compliant card is distinguishable by the phrase "Not for Federal Identification" printed in the upper margin.



"...you will be able to use your driver license or identification card for domestic flights, entering federal facilities, and other official federal purposes."

DMV has made these process changes to comply with federal identification standards. By complying with these standards, in addition to driving authority and identification, you will be able to use your driver license or identification card for domestic flights, entering federal facilities, and other official federal purposes. Without obtaining a federally compliant driver license or identification card you will be required to obtain a U.S. passport to do these things and obtaining a passport would be more time consuming and expensive for you.



Important Note: Delaware DMV has been offering federally compliant driver licenses and identification cards since July 1, 2010. If you renewed your driver license or identification card before that date, it will be valid for official federal purposes until December 1, 2014. There is no need to visit a DMV office before your normal renewal date to get a compliant card.


A Fresh, Secure New Look





What Documentation Do I Need to Get My Compliant Driver License?



Do you need documentation to obtain a SecureID?
Find out how to contact Vital Statistics for all U.S. States and Territories.

The source documents required to prove identity, lawful status, date of birth, and social security number for a compliant driver license or identification card are documents the DMV already requires. In order to obtain a federally compliant driver license or identification card, first time Delaware applicants and existing Delaware applicants should expect to provide original source documents as proof of identity and legal presence in the United States, social security number, and Delaware residence. For existing driver license or identification card holders you will be presenting original source documents at the time of renewal like you did the first time you obtained your driver license or identification card. This one-time revalidation of your source documents will enable the DMV to ensure your identity. By planning ahead and coming prepared to the Division of Motor Vehicles, your compliant driver license or identification card request will be handled more efficiently

Review the list below to find out what documentation you'll need to COLLECT and BRING with you so you can SECURE your new driver license or identification card. Please note that all documents presented MUST be original or certified copies. Photocopies and non-certified documents will NOT be accepted.