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Changes could mean shorter wait times at NC DMV offices

Posted May 1
Updated May 2

— New North Carolina residents applying for a driver’s license might be able to skip the written test – one of several steps Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday to make getting a license or license plate less of a chore.

The governor and state transportation leaders unveiled the latest step in their Division of Motor Vehicles modernization program as they opened a flagship agency office in Huntersville that will serve as a model for improved DMV customer service.

"This change is another way NCDMV is driving change, working hard to reduce wait times and help our citizens conduct business more efficiently," McCrory said. "From electronic kiosks to friendly greeters, the new Huntersville office is a model of our new customer focus."

Drivers from other states will only have to present a valid license that has been expired less than two years and take eye and road sign tests. A written test is still required for first-time drivers and those whose expired licenses are more than two years old.

McCrory's administration last year opened new DMV offices and extended office times in some locations as a first step.

Since then, it piloted several programs now rolling out across the state that are aimed at reducing wait times at DMV offices by as much as 83 percent. Those changes include adding front-desk attendants and self-service kiosks in offices and updating the DMV website for easier use.

Time-saving initiatives being tested and available in the coming months include online license renewals, ATM-style kiosks in grocery stores and shopping malls, credit/debit card transactions, a mobile DMV office and a redesign of driver's licenses and identification cards.

During his 2012 campaign, then-candidate McCrory often discussed in stump speeches having to wait in line for an hour to get his license renewed.

21 Comments

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  • computer trainer May 2, 2:12 p.m.

    How;s about fixin the employement folks? I been waiting since DECEMBER for my money. They keep adding more week to my insurane.

  • tomfoolery May 2, 2:04 p.m.

    How about doing away with the contracted tag offices and let DMV offices handle all auto related... View More

    — Posted by jandrew28

    +1

  • phippsy May 2, 12:17 p.m.

    The DMV really needs to concentrate on having more offices in Wake County perform new drivers' road exams. The scheduling and wait times are insane and for an area with a population this large. There are too few DMV locations available to handle the number.

  • Nope May 2, 10:26 a.m.

    Nothing is as bad as the NY DMV. NC DMV is like Disneyworld in comparison.

    — Posted by Naysayer

    I guess that depends on where you were. In my town there was an office and there were never more than 1 person on line in front if me. Compared to here where I took my daughter to get her permit and it took about 4 hours

  • marty1mc May 2, 10:06 a.m.

    " weasel2 May 2, 9:34 a.m.

    Heres a novel idea, unless your 75 or older, have had an accident why cant you renew your license thru the mail. Any pertinent changes would have to be accompanied by the appropriate signed stamped paperwork. If you want a new picture, go in and get one or send in a certified passport type photo. Saves time and would clear out DMV for those that need assistance."

    Federal requirements for issuing licenses.

  • hpr641 May 2, 10:05 a.m.

    Nothing is as bad as the NY DMV. NC DMV is like Disneyworld in comparison.

    — Posted by Naysayer

    Seriously??? Then, I can't imagine ... or want to. Most frustrating thing to me about the written test was the huge number of questions about drunk driving (max. BAL, no-tolerance, DUI penalties, and etc.) ... frustrating because I don't drink to begin with.

  • CarolinianByChoice May 2, 10:00 a.m.

    "New North Carolina residents applying for a driver’s license be able to skip the written test"

    Cringed when I read this sentence last night, and a bit disturbed the editors/proofers still hadn't noticed the gaffe by this morning. I guess reports are not reviewed once they have been posted.

  • weasel2 May 2, 9:34 a.m.

    Heres a novel idea, unless your 75 or older, have had an accident why cant you renew your license thru the mail. Any pertinent changes would have to be accompanied by the appropriate signed stamped paperwork. If you want a new picture, go in and get one or send in a certified passport type photo. Saves time and would clear out DMV for those that need assistance.

  • jandrew28 May 2, 9:32 a.m.

    How about doing away with the contracted tag offices and let DMV offices handle all auto related issues. It seems to work in other states! It’s asinine to have to go to two separate places to get your driver’s license and tags for your vehicle when the same government agency is responsible for both!

  • all4him May 2, 8:59 a.m.

    As someone who moved to NC from another state 15 yrs. ago, I have to say that I was a little insulted that I had to take the written test to get my license switched over. What was on that test was the same that every NEW driver across the country needs to know. Had nothing to do with laws of the state! So I saw no point in making someone take that test just to switch over a license. So I agree with the change.
    I also agree that with a previous poster about everyone having their paperwork in order, as well as making sure they have everything BEFORE going to the DMV! That's half of the problem!

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