Local News

DMV to mail driver’s licenses

Posted June 30, 2008 10:57 p.m. EDT
Updated July 1, 2008 6:56 a.m. EDT

— 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.