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DMV offers online license renewals

Posted June 10, 2015

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— The lines at state Division of Motor Vehicles offices just got a bit shorter.

The DMV this week launched an online driver's license renewal program that allows most people to update their license and pay by credit card at the agency's website.

Drivers can use the service only if they have no restrictions on their license other than needing glasses or contacts – drivers also must attest that they have no vision problems that would hinder their driving skills. Commercial licenses cannot be renewed online, and people with expired, suspended or revoked licenses must go to a DMV for a new one.

The new license will be mailed in seven to 14 business days and will be valid for five or eight years, depending on the driver’s age.

“This new service is a major milestone in our continued efforts to improve customer service online and in our DMV offices throughout the state, making it faster, easier and more convenient for people to complete their business and get back to their busy lives,” Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement.

In its first three days of operation, more than 7,000 people statewide renewed or requested a replacement for a lost license online, and DMV officials estimated the online option will save North Carolina residents 125,000 hours this year and an estimated 188,000 hours in 2016.

Mike Charbonneau, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said other states with similar programs have not had widespread security problems issuing licenses online.

"There are a number of security checks there. You are having to put in your current driver's license, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your date of birth, and it has to find you in the system as a valid driver with no restrictions and an active license to be able to renew it through the system," Charbonneau said.

The DMV also will start issuing this summer a more secure and durable type of license through online renewal. The new design features high-resolution graphics and laser-etched verbiage, as well as overlapping “ghost images” in various colors, to help prevent counterfeiting, reduce the risk of identity theft and decrease the potential for fraud.

Online renewals will be available every other time a driver's license is set to expire, meaning people can't escape getting a new license photo forever.

16 Comments

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  • La'King Henry Jun 11, 2015
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    Oh, so then forget about the fact eye site dwindles when you're older? Your point is pointless.

  • Paul Jones Jun 11, 2015
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    Did you know that many DMVs do not check vision? It would not surprise me to learn that most do not. They're not doctors and are not qualified to determine if one's vision is acceptable for driving or not. It's a waste of their time and the machines are horrible on top of that. Vision issues are not anywhere near the top reasons for accidents, either. Go worry about the things that really cause accidents.

  • Judy Kurzeja Jun 11, 2015
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    My issue with online renewal is that your vision can change drastically in the 5 to 8 years between renewals , both for younger and older people. They should require an eye exam for renewal.

  • Steve Fitzpatrick Jun 11, 2015
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    Thats Great, I renew my auto tags online and its great to not wait in line

  • Paul Jones Jun 11, 2015
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    "There are a number of security checks there. You are having to put in your current driver's license, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your date of birth, and it has to find you in the system as a valid driver with no restrictions and an active license to be able to renew it through the system," Charbonneau said.

    And I provided every bit of that info to my doctor today. Any member of the staff could access it. If you want security, there needs to be something that's actually secret in this mix, because the rest is widely known.

  • Ann Ethridge Jun 10, 2015
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    Well can't say I had the same "wonderful" experience....I was lied to about the system just rolling out today when I actually renewed & paid online yesterday. I see on my renewal card that I needed to take the sign and vision test, can't do it online so I go to the office. They tell me that I would have to pay again b/c they cannot access the funds & not aware of how online works. Either they are clueless or they need to train the Garner examiners. It wasn't until I began to name drop that the gentleman they phoned wanted to provide a solution - all of the things the examiners said could not happen. They admitted that they knew nothing about this and had not been trained on it. Really? And the final straw was when I asked who I needed to speak with higher up. Asked if DMV fell under the Sec of Trans. - and they told me no! HaHa, played the wrong one. I am not letting this go.Not the one! If your system is flawed - admit it & fix it, but don't lie to me. Measure twice, cut once.

  • Ann Ethridge Jun 10, 2015
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    Straight lie! Don't trust this......it is buggy! You don't even want to know what I had to deal with at DMV today. I had to name drop in order to get a solution - which still means that I don't have my license or my TDC! Melarchy!

  • Ching Lee Jun 10, 2015
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    Very true! Even though young drivers cause more accidents?

  • Linda Reiter Jun 10, 2015
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    Procrastination paid off. My driver's license was up for renewal. I dreaded going to the DMV so I kept putting it off. I saw this article for the online renewal. Piece of cake. Was done in 5 minutes. No sitting at DMV for hours! Thank you DMV!!

  • Victor Font Jun 10, 2015
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    I renewed online today and the system crashed when I tried to print the receipt. It's a great idea, but the site should have been more thoroughly tested before releasing it.

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