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Identification to be required for car tags

LAWRENCEVILLE - Voters aren't the only ones who will need valid IDs this year.

Beginning July 1, the state is requiring first-time vehicle registrants to provide a valid Georgia driver's license or identification card before a license plate will be issued.

Rep. Tom Rice said the idea came about from talks about stopping illegal immigration, but he said it could also keep people who don't meet Georgia's identification standards off the roads.

Rice, the Republican from Peachtree Corners who chairs the House Motor Vehicles Committee said some states have lower standards for issuing driver's licenses, so a requirement for a Georgia ID ensures that the local benchmarks are met.

"We want them to get a Georgia driver's license and honor the rules of the road," he said, adding that he believes few people will have problems with the new law. "It's hard to think of a case where somebody is not going to have a license or an ID card and want a car registration."

According to a press release, all Gwinnett County tag offices will begin next month verifying legal residence in Gwinnett County before processing a vehicle registration.

New residents moving to Gwinnett from out of state are required to provide a valid Georgia driver's license or Georgia ID card with the current Gwinnett County address before a license plate can be issued.

New residents moving to the area from another Georgia county must provide a valid Georgia driver's license or Georgia ID card with the current Gwinnett County address, or a valid drivers license or a valid government issued photo ID and one of the following documents, dated within the last year, and in the vehicle owner's name with the current Gwinnett County address: utility bill, lease/rental agreement, bank statement, closing papers or a voter registration card.

Current Gwinnett County residents who already have vehicles registered in Gwinnett and move within Gwinnett County may change addresses by telephone or e-mail.

Proof of residency requirements and change of address request forms are available on the tax commissioner's Web site, at www.GwinnettTaxCommissioner.com. The form can be submitted with the required residency documentation by mail, or fax, or by visiting any Gwinnett County tag office.

For more information, contact the Tax Commissioner's Customer Service line at 770-822-8818 or by e-mail at tag@gwinnettcounty.com.