Local News

Wake DMV offices to start mailing licenses

Posted June 26, 2009 3:56 p.m. EDT
Updated June 26, 2009 6:51 p.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles on Monday will begin mailing Wake County motorists their driver's licenses.

It's part of a new policy called central issuance that, DMV officials say, will give them more time to review documentation motorists present to obtain a license and to help reduce fraud.

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.

Instead of getting a license then, drivers will receive a temporary driving permit while their license or identification card is processed and mailed to them.

The permit is valid for 20 days, but the DMV expects most licenses will be delivered within 7 to 10 days.

"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.

Wake County's six driver's license offices will to prepare for the changeover.

The program will be put in place at other offices across the state by the fall. Once it's implemented in Wake County, officials will evaluate the changeover and then schedule other counties.

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 license 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.