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Getting a Driver's License Will Soon Take Longer

Posted January 9, 2008

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— Later this year, the way you get your driver's license will change. Whether you are renewing or getting a new license, it will take more than a simple trip down to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get it.

There are about 115 DMV offices across the state that make drivers licenses on-site. Because of a new law that takes effect July 1, the days of over-the-counter driver's license are numbered.

“You will walk out of our office with a temporary driving permit, good for 20 days,” said Wayne Hurder, of the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

“It sounds like it would be more of an inconvenience to wait 20 days for your license with your picture ID,” driver Brittany Adams said.

DMV officials said the extra wait time allows for more sophisticated background checks. If you pass all DMV tests, a license will be mailed to your permanent address within 20 days. 

A post office box will not be accepted as a permanent address. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) leaders see that as a problem for folks without permanent addresses.

“So if they're not going to mail it to a post office box, then these people will not receive a license or identification card and it could impede their ability to vote,” said Sarah Preston, legislative coordinator for the ACLU.

Licenses will no longer be made on-site at each DMV office. Instead, they will be made at a single Raleigh location, based on state legislation passed two years ago.

“We think this will make a major difference in stopping identity theft, fraud,” Hurder said.

Hurder acknowledged it may be hard to get a smile out of DMV customers about the changes, but security trumps convenience.

“The best customer service is knowing that your identity is protected,” he said.

Hurder estimated that about 90 percent of applicants will likely get their new driver's license mailed to them in five days. For those people who require extra verification, it will take longer.

The DMV is also asking people to plan ahead. You can renew your license up to six months before it expires.


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  • ratherbnnc Jan 11, 2008

    Shamrock72.. I agree..too much over-reacting on this board. Too funny sometimes!

  • imtiredofit Jan 10, 2008

    I've lived in a number of states and NEVER have I seen such a incompetent pile of bozos as these clowns that run the NC DMV. This latest idea just reinforces my opinion that the NC DMV doesn't know what they are doing.

  • ArkAngels Jan 10, 2008

    37, If the mail is a federal problem and not a state one, then why does our state Attorney General tell everyone if you are mailing a bill with a check in it, NOT to put it in your mailbox, but rather to take it to the post office and put it in the box there? Simple, Identity Theft.

  • gopanthers Jan 10, 2008

    The Real Deal Tar Heel - Very good question. I stated a lot early today on this story and won't go into all the detail of that post again but I was away due to family illness for 1 and 1/2 years. Returned to N.C. 4 months ago and I got my NCDL on the internet. D.L was still current until 2010 and they just sent a duplicate and I had no problems getting it online. Good question.

  • shamrock72 Jan 10, 2008

    In NY you always were mailed your permanent license, was never a problem. I was surprised when I moved here 8 years ago and could walk out with my new one. I love reading this board and see how badly people overreact.

  • ratherbnnc Jan 10, 2008

    What is wrong with some of you people??? Can you not read?? IT SAYS...DMV will not Accept A Post Office Box address any longer..THIS MEANS.. they will not accept a PO Box ALONE. You have always been able to add a PO Box on your drivers license and DMV file along with a physical address!! So.. Simply.. when you renew, get a duplicate or original license, give the Examiner both your physical address and PO Box.. WOW. SO SIMPLE!! You also need to read state law. You act as if NC owes you a Drivers License. Obtaining a Drivers License in any State is a PRIVILEDGE, not a RIGHT. You pay for the priviledge. NC owns your drivers license.

  • ratherbnnc Jan 10, 2008

    I have a problem with this.... I live in a small town that does NOT deliver mail to my house. I have a PO Box. If they put my street address on the envelope and mail it to me ... I WILL NOT GET IT. The Post Office will return it as undeliverable because the Post Office is to lazy to look up my PO Box number.

    They will deliver it IF you have DMV also put your PO Box number on your Drivers License file.. DUH!!

  • fury54 Jan 10, 2008

    Has anyone noticed on the bottom of the SSN Card it states:


    So why is any government agency accepting it for ID... 2 forms of ID should NOT include a persons SSN Card.

  • original intent Jan 10, 2008

    Eventually these new ID cards will contain RFID tags or chips,or as some refer to,"the mark of the beast" in which the guvment can track almost your every move..We can seal the border,,or elect leaders who will seal it! And then the ACLU can scream all they want! But s 9/11 proved,,the guvemnt CANNOT protect you!!

  • Space Mountain Jan 10, 2008

    Will we still be able to renew them online?