Local News

Many Camp Out, Wait In Long Lines At DMV Offices To Beat Feb. 2 Deadline

Posted January 23, 2004

— If you have business at the

North Carolina's Division of Motor Vehicles

, you may be in for a long wait. Beginning Feb. 2, DMV officials will limit the forms of identification it will accept for a driver's license.

In order to diminish fraud and identity theft, the DMV will accept fewer forms of ID in an

effort to help increase homeland security

. A Matricula Consular, a Mexican ID card, will no longer be accepted.

With the deadline approaching, the rush is on to get driver's licenses and identification.

Lines of people 100 deep are forming outside DMV offices hours before offices open at 8 a.m. Some people are out as early as 3:30 a.m. to be first in line.

Gilbert Ramirez and hundreds of others are trying to get their driver's license before it is too late.

"They've been here since 11 at night and then when they get to the front desk, they send them home. They say they don't have the right information," Ramirez said of people making return trips.

For Leonardo Cordero, the issue is not just about a tedious line, but also about public safety. People driving without a license will likely also drive without insurance, he said.

Since the opportunity to apply for a license will be gone for many, so may the incentive to study the rules of the road.

"It's going to be really bad, that's the only thing I can really say. It's gonna be dangerous for everybody," Jorge Garcia Ortiz said.

DMV Commissioner George Tatum said no one is being targeted. He said following the events of Sept. 11, the FBI and Office of Homeland Security do not consider the Matricula Consular a reliable document.

The new rules do not apply to people who already have a license-- even if it needs to be renewed.

A limited number of DMV services is just a click away on its Web site. Online users can renew registration and plates and get a duplicate license.

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