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Wake DMV begins mailing licenses

Posted June 29, 2009

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— Beginning Monday, North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles offices in Wake County will mail drivers licenses to motorists instead of issuing them on site. The goal, officials say, is to reduce fraud and cut down on fake IDs.

Motorists will leave with a temporary driving certificate, which is good for 20 days until their license arrives in the mail.

"Just the idea of not having a product when I leave the place makes me a little bit nervous. What's the purpose?" asked driver Carol McCoy.

The change is part of a new policy called central issuance. DMV officials say it will give them more time to review documentation motorists present to obtain a license.

"We certainly don't want a drivers license issued to someone who wants to do harm to the people of North Carolina or to the United States," said N.C. DMV commissioner Mike Robertson.

Wake DMV begins mailing drivers licenses Wake DMV begins mailing drivers licenses

Under the plan, motorists applying for or renewing a license will continue to visit one of the county's six offices to take any required tests and to have their photos taken.

The permit is valid for 20 days, but the DMV expects most licenses will be delivered within 7 to 10 days. (Read some frequently asked questions about central issuance.)

"The primary emphasis is about security," said Tony Spence, acting director for the DMV's Driver and Vehicle Services.

In addition to reducing fraud, Spence said moving driver's license production to a central location will remove equipment from the state's 114 DMV offices – some of which have been targets of thieves looking to make fake IDs.

The program will be put in place at other offices across the state by the fall. Harnett County served as a test site for the pilot program over the past year.

Since last July, more than 63,000 drivers applied for licenses at offices in Lillington and Erwin and saw those licenses delivered by central issuance.

Sixteen states have either started or completed their transition to central issuance of driver licenses. Among them, Virginia completed its rollout to 74 offices statewide on June 18. Georgia plans to begin its rollout this fall.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Jul 6, 2009

    For those who believe that any possible ID theft with this new DMV process is "paranoid", consider these facts:

    1. There is a direct coorelation between increase in meth use and ID Theft, where the driver's license is a prime target for such increase. (http://practicalgovernmentinformationtips.blogspot.com/2008/01/mail-theft-and-meth-use.html)

    2. ID Theft is now performed by organized crime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organized_crime), so it is not necessarily just a single mailbox-mail being stolen. Multiple mailboxes could be attacked (so to speak), then the stolen items "sold" upstream to an organized crime group.

    3. Once you are an ID theft victim, it can take months or even years to recover, plus it is time-consuming and expensive. You may even have to change your social security number if the theft was able to obtain that through your ID. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08162/888642-96.stm

    Personally, I will be investing in a locking mailbox.

  • Travised Jun 30, 2009

    People, other states already do this. Your OLD license and the paper one together are VALID form of ID that banks/and shops MUST accept. If you go to the bar with your clipped (expired) ID and paper ID they WILL serve you.

    I used my passport for a secondary ID when waiting for my state one to come. I have never needed to use my passport yet, but I keep it valid so I have a second form of state/federal picture ID.

    The licenses very rarely are stolen in the mail. If you have hunter orange hair and green skin (ok, nobody does!) who can imposter you?

    The states have security in the numbers of your drivers licenses! I know one of them on mine. I verified it by comparing a bartenders and a family members, it was true. They can't put their face on your license. The barcode will come back to you as will the number.

    I've never had a license lost in the mail. My state has ALWAYS mailed them to me.

  • SANDHILL Jun 29, 2009

    Why do they need to "review" my paper work? I have had an NC drivers license since Dec 1953. It has had my picture on it since 1973. Any one can look at my old license and see it is still me with less hair. This should apply to first time license only.

  • determined2win Jun 29, 2009

    If folks want to fake an ID, they can do it. What one man or system makes, another man can copy if they feel the need to do so...

  • pbjbeach Jun 29, 2009

    TO my way of thinking this is just one more example of what happens within state government when thing are being or are about to be out sourcesed an taking the workings of the licensing buerea away from the state employees duty's to the point that they themselves dont an wont have anything to do for work

  • supernik87 Jun 29, 2009

    What happens if your license is lost or stolen and you have to go 20 days without a photo ID? What if I need to write a check, or cash one? What if a store wants to check my credit card? What if I need to fly? Do you really think anyone, especially a place such as a bank, is going accept a piece of paper? I think not! For 20 days I can't do anything. This policy will hurt more than it helps.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 29, 2009

    "Most of you seem to think the DMV hasn't thought about these very concerns. They are way ahead of you."

    It's amazing and sad that the gullible still trust NC government after all of the scandals and incompetent actions.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jun 29, 2009

    We need to be prepared for a rash of identity theft in North Carolina as the drivers licenses are being put in the mail.

    The most secure way to give you drivers license is to hand it two you at the DMV.

  • angora2 Jun 29, 2009

    Most of you seem to think the DMV hasn't thought about these very concerns. They are way ahead of you.

  • misschris234 Jun 29, 2009

    Yes, you get to keep your old license