Local News

State Lawmakers Take Serious Look At Internet Driver License Renewal

Posted March 8, 2004

— It seems there is always a traffic jam at the Department of Motor Vehicles office when you renew your license, but soon you may not have to go anymore. The DMV wants to allow it online.

"We do have long lines as many people know, and this would get many people out of our office and let us concentrate on the other people we have in our office," said Wayne Hurder, of the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Online renewal would be available for people between the ages of 25 and 60. They could have no more than four points on their license, no more than two accidents, and no driving restrictions, such as glasses. The proposal extends first-time driver licenses to eight years and allows one online extension of five years.

Some lawmakers think that may be too long.

"Health issues could change drastically in 13 years. I think it's just too long to go without having someone with the DMV review your health status," said Sen. Clark Jenkins, D-Edgecombe.

Critics said another concern may be identity theft, but DMV officials said that is not an issue. Officials said online renewal would help prevent fraud because they would use the digital photo that is already stored in the system.

"If I'm trying to commit fraud on this gentleman here, all I'm going to do is get his license with his photo on it and that's not going to do me any good," Hurder said.

As far as health issues go, state lawmakers might require anyone would wants to renew online to submit the results of a recent eye exam first. A joint committee plans to vote on the proposal in April.

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