Local News

DMV to mail driver’s licenses

Posted June 30, 2008
Updated July 1, 2008

— Due to a new law, the days of an over-the-counter driver's license are coming to an end. Folks will be getting a temporary driving permit instead that will be good for 20 days.

DMV officials said the extra wait time allows for more sophisticated background checks.

“The program’s goal is to help fight identity theft and address fraud,” DMV Commissioner William Gore Jr. said. “There will be an adjustment period for our customers, but the return on securing our driver licenses should make up for any inconvenience.”

If you pass all DMV tests, a license will be mailed to your permanent address within 20 days.

"Basically you will be going into the driver’s license office and doing the same thing you've been doing for years,” DMV spokeswoman Marge Howell said.

The only difference, you will not be leaving with your new driver's license.

"Instead of getting a driver's license, you will be getting a temporary driving certificate,” Howell said.

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.

Wayne Hurder, of the state Department of Motor Vehicles, 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.

"Any of the documents you provide now, we will be able to bring them to Raleigh and make sure that they are true and good documents,” Howell added.

The temporary license will be good for 20 days, and you will be able to get to keep your old license for a photo ID.

"Yeah, I think it's a good idea. I think it's going to be good for security as far as that is concerned," driver Patrick McNair said.

The new "central issuance" law takes effect Tuesday; however, Lillington will be the first place to make the switch. Gore said the Lillington site was chosen because it is a less crowded operation and it is located close to Raleigh.

“It gives us a chance to work through the new system and be sure everything is in order before going statewide,” he said.

Central issuance is expected to expand to DMV offices across the state by the end of 2008.


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  • delilahk2000 Jul 2, 2008

    In Va. i know someone who's license had expired, they were born and raised there. She has done everything and had all documents,and the best thing the license THAT THEY HAD GIVEN HER FOR YEARS, would not accept and she has been dealing with this for 2years, and guess what still no license. told her not enough ID. What a joke all this is becomming,with all the rest of what we have to deal with>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • delilahk2000 Jul 2, 2008

    Yea,another great way N.C. is spending our tax money, just like paying someone 200,000.00, to an outside source, to see how they can charge for water.don't you just love it,it never stops.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Jul 1, 2008

    If it helps send illegals back home, I'm for it...

  • BlueDevilFan Jul 1, 2008

    If a license happens to get “lost” in the mail and consequently someone’s identity is stolen, can that person then sue the state for damages? I just don’t agree with sending them through the mail.

  • BlueDevilFan Jul 1, 2008

    Why not have a computer in each DMV office linked to the same database Raleigh is using. If a person is cleared then great, give them their license on the spot (especially for renewals, duplicates, etc.). If a person does not immediately clear then force them into this 20-day program. There has got to be a better solution then mailing them to EVERYone!

  • micah Jul 1, 2008

    You shouldn't ever have to use an expired license because your new one is "in the mail." You can renew an expiring license up to 180 days before it expires. SIX MONTHS is plenty of time to go to the DMV and renew!

  • ratherbnnc Jul 1, 2008

    besides all you people who do not like the idea! How do you think someone is going to use the Drivers license with your PHOTO plastered all over it in 2 places? Also no where do i see a Soc Sec number on your license to be used for credit purposes. For those who are not afraid of a little background check, i think its a good idea and about time.

  • ratherbnnc Jul 1, 2008

    don't like the idea about requiring your own personal documents leaving your care just because some official wants to send them to Raleigh for verification. You don't even have to do that to get a passport!

    To begin with.. your personal documents will not leave your care. They will verify at the office that the documents are legit, enter the information from your documents and return them to you. They are doing this as so many people are using fake documents, illegals obtaining drivers licenses, and providing addresses that are not valid.

  • No longer in NC Jul 1, 2008

    As my name implies, i no longer live in NC. We moved to Minnesota about 4 years ago. When we went to get our new licenses here in MN, they handed us a paper and said you will get your license in 3-4 weeks. Then someone explained to us that MN does a thorough background check before a license is issued. ID theft is not on the rise in MN due to this. It is a change that you will get used to.

  • Travised Jul 1, 2008

    Other states already do this exact policy. You are given a carbon sheet for your temp license. Your plastic license is clipped. The two combined work for ID verification until you are sent the NEW one.

    I have NEVER had a problem with the process of renewing mine in those states. It is used to catch problems, or fake applicants. Why do you need a new piece of plastic the same day? This method helps avoid backup and you are not sitting for an hour to renew the license.