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Rutland DMV offers new drivers "passport" license

RUTLAND - Vermont residents may now obtain an Enhanced Drivers License (EDL) at the Rutland office of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, which is located at 101 State Pl. in Rutland. Until now, the only place an EDL was available was in Montpelier.

An EDL provides drivers with all the motor-vehicle privileges of a normal drivers license, but it has the added advantage of being recognized by the United States federal government as proper documentation to cross the Canadian border by either land or sea.

"Many Vermonters have inquired about obtaining an EDL, but for many the trip to Montpelier was just too much trouble," said Vermont DMV Commissioner Robert Ide. "Employees at the Rutland office have now received the extensive training necessary to issues this passport-type document."

As of June 1, 2009, all U.S. citizens traveling across the U.S. border by land or water are now required to present proper, federally recognized documents. Although passports are needed to enter and return from most foreign countries, Vermont's DMV has been allowed to issue an EDL for state residents to use whenever entering or returning from not only into Canada, but also Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

Vermont has issued over 13,000 EDLs since February of 2009, when its program began.

"Enhanced licenses have been very popular with Vermonters, especially those who regularly travel to Canada," Ide said. "We are very excited about expanding our services so Vermonters can now acquire an EDL in Rutland."

To obtain an EDL, Vermonters are required, at a minimum, presentation and verification of a photo identity document, documentation proving the applicant's U.S. Citizenship, proof of the person's social security number, and documentation showing the applicant's name and address.

Officials from the DMV advise Vermonters to call or consult the department's recently updated website to make sure they have the documentation needed.

"We have had instances of people being turned away because they didn't have the required paperwork," Ide said. "Since the process of verifying the documentation can take up to 20 minutes, waits at the DMV may be a little longer, and we don't want people to spend that time waiting only to find out they don't have proper identity documents."

Vermont is one of four states to an Enhanced Drivers License, along with Washington, New York and Michigan. For more information visit dmv.vermont.gov, or call 786-5815 in Rutland.

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