How to Replace Your Drivers License in Georgia
If your license has been recently lost or stolen, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. Without a valid license, you will not be able to drive legally in your state or present a valid form of identification when necessary. The two most common methods of replacing your lost or stolen license are visiting your local licensing location in person or applying for a replacement online. Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to replace your license or ID by mail. However, the fastest and most efficient way to replace your driving credential is online. To learn how to replace your license online, you can refer to our helpful drivers license guide. In addition to helping you through the replacement process, our guide will also teach you how to renew and change the name or address on your license.
2. By Mail
Most states offer a mail-in application option to residents who have lost their license while out of the state. In most cases, military service members stationed outside of the state will also be able to apply for a replacement by mail. To apply, you will need to mail in a primary and secondary proof of identification, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, Social Security card or W-2 form. You will also need to send proof of a residential address such as a deed, voter registration card or utility bill. Depending on your state, you will be required to provide any combination of the aforementioned documents, in addition to other documents and information. You will also need to keep in mind that it may take several weeks to obtain your replacement license, as mail can often be delayed or unreliable.
3. In Person at a DMV Office
Finally, you can replace your lost or stolen license at your local DMV or licensing office. You will be required to bring all the documents previously mentioned as proof of identification and residency. If you are uncomfortable mailing these important documents to the DMV, then an in-person visit is more secure. However, you may need to reschedule an appointment if you forget your passport, citizenship certificate, car title or any other documents that you are using as proof of identification or residency. Additionally, if you make any mistakes on your form, you will not be able to receive your replacement license or ID the same day you apply for it at the DMV.
Any Georgia driver with a lost drivers license must seek to replace it immediately through the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). Drivers who do not replace drivers license documents quickly can risk identity theft or other fraudulent use of their driving credentials. If the card is damaged, then motorists should also seek a replacement copy. In addition to serving as evidence of a resident’s permission to operate a vehicle, a license serves as identification for the cardholder.
You can get a copy of drivers license credentials in GA in person or online, and in rare instances, by mail. Continue reading to learn about the requirements to obtain duplicate driving documents in GA and answer the question, “Where can I get a copy of my drivers license if I am temporarily living out-of-state?”
When is a replacement drivers license required in Georgia?
In short, you are required to obtain a duplicate drivers license in Georgia any time your original license is lost, stolen or damaged to the point of illegibility. This includes any time that the photo on your original copy of drivers license is mutilated enough that a law enforcement officer cannot use the picture to identify you. It is illegal to operate a vehicle without carrying valid credentials so not having one on hand means you can be ticketed for illegal driving.
Likewise, it is prudent to apply for a replacement drivers license as soon as possible following any kind of loss or damage even if you do not plan to operate a vehicle. Most people find life highly inconvenient when their primary form of photo identification is missing. Since your lost license also serves as identification, you should replace a lost or damaged card so you may prove your name, age, address or other information noted on your license.
How to Replace Your Drivers License Online in Georgia
All GA DDS customers wishing to obtain a GA drivers license copy online must create a customer account on the DDS portal. After logging in, online duplicate drivers license services are easy to obtain but only if you meet the following qualifications:
- Your lost drivers license is a regular, non-commercial license
- Your license has not been suspended, canceled or revoked
- You are a legal U.S. citizen and resident of the State of Georgia
- You have not exceeded the limit of three lost drivers license replacements per year.
Although you may change your address at any time with the DDS, it must validate each new address. This process can add one to two weeks to the usual one-week processing time for online drivers license replacement services. GA DDS accepts duplicate drivers license fee payments online through Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover cards only.
How to Replace Your Drivers License by Mail in Georgia
GA DDS offers limited replacement drivers license services to out-of-state drivers who are unable to replace their license in person or online. All mail-in applications to replace lost drivers license credentials are subject to approval by DDS and can be denied for any reason. Please review the section below to learn how to replace drivers license cards out-of-state and the eligibility requirements for this service.
How to Replace Your Georgia Drivers License in Person
You may replace a stolen, damaged or lost drivers license in person at your nearest GA DDS customer service center. To obtain a new copy of drivers license credentials, you must bring original documents that verify your identity. DDS provides an extensive list of Category A (primary) identification documents and Category B (secondary) forms of ID.
To get a copy of drivers license credentials, you may bring one Category A document, such as a U.S. birth certificate or valid U.S. passport, or two Category B documents. Some choices from the B list include a Social Security card, your most recent tax return or a military ID card.
If you wish to upgrade to a Secure ID, then you must provide additional documentation. This includes the replacement drivers license identification documents listed above, plus two documents proving your Georgia residency, a Social Security Number verification and proof of any legal name change if applicable. Note that all documents presented to the GA DDS for duplicate drivers license services must be written in English. Translation services are available from DDS by request.
Additionally, when replacing driver license cards in GA, you must bring payment for the fee, which can be paid by cash, check, money order, or a major credit or debit card.
Out-of-State Drivers License Replacement in Georgia
If you are a licensed GA driver but temporarily living out-of-state, then you can replace drivers license credentials online as outlined above. However, you may also be eligible to replace a lost drivers license by mail under certain circumstances. These include the following drivers and their dependents:
- Those stationed out-of-state with the military
- Students attending school in another state
- Workers employed temporarily out-of-state
Drivers with physical limitations that prohibit visiting a DDS customer service center may also request a drivers license replacement via mail service. You will need to complete and submit the application for the replacement license. Be sure to mark the box in the section that indicates you need a duplicate drivers license because yours is damaged, lost or stolen. Sign the form in front of a notary and have him or her sign and seal the document before enclosing payment and sending it to:
DDS Special Issuance
2206 Eastview Parkway
Conyers, GA 30013
How to Report a Missing Drivers License in Georgia
Although you are not required by law to report a stolen or lost drivers license in GA, having police documentation can help protect you from identity theft. Additionally, if you show DDS your police report, then you can apply for a replacement drivers license with a different number, as a replacement card will have the same license number as the original.
Georgia Drivers License Replacement Fees
Your GA replacement drivers license fee is nominal $5 cost provided that you have at least 150 days left before expiration of your current driving license. If there are 150 days or fewer remaining on your lost drivers license, then you must go ahead and renew it as well as pay the additional license renewal fees.
If you renew instead of replacing drivers license credentials, then your new license will be valid for the duration of the new renewal period.