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  • Florida tightening rules for licenses
  • State seeks fines for post-attack gas price gouging
  • 'Endeavour' blasts off amid tight security
  • Bush's tax cut wins delay despite several GOP nays
  • Capitol recycling buried in inaction
  • Court voids notable domestic abuse award
  • State will remove plant's acidic water
  • Audit blasts lapses at civil rights agency

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
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  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

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    Florida tightening rules for licenses


    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published December 6, 2001

    TALLAHASSEE -- State officials are tightening the rules for getting a driver's license and seeking a change in the law to make future licenses available only to Florida residents.

    All of this comes after investigators learned that 13 of the 19 airliner hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 attacks obtained licenses or identification cards in Florida.

    Fred Dickinson, director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, on Wednesday briefed members of a joint legislative committee on security. He said there was a "top to bottom" review of the way licenses are issued.

    A $500,000 appropriation included in budget revisions legislators will approve today will help his agency buy scanning equipment needed to retain all foreign documents submitted by applicants for a driver's license, Dickinson said.

    And the state will begin reviewing licenses already issued with an eye toward requiring those who did not have a complete facial picture taken to come in for a new photo. Legislators have complained that some Muslim women were allowed to get licenses while wearing veils that concealed all but their eyes. Dickinson said state law requires a full facial photo.

    Dickinson said no driver's license will be issued for a period of time that exceeds the period of legal residency a foreigner has left when he applies for a license. In the past the state did not consider the length of time an applicant could legally remain in the state.

    The state will soon begin issuing temporary drivers' licenses without photos to foreign nationals while they seek confirmation of their legal status in the United States. After 30 days, a regular license will be mailed to them.

    Dickinson said he is also looking at other measures like using utility records to confirm residences listed by applicants.

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