The days of picking up your new driver’s license warm out of the machine at a Department of Transportation station are numbered. Shirley Andre of the D.O.T. motor vehicles division, says they are going to a central production area for the licenses sometime late this summer or early fall. That means you will get your picture taken or take the test, but won’t leave with your new license.
Andre says you will be given a temporary credential and your old license that will be marked "void" or have holes punched in it. The paper will be good for between 20 and 30 days. Your new license will be processed and mailed to you. Andre says the new license will come through he Post Office just as credit cards, car titles, vehicle registrations and other documents come. Andre says they are making the change for increased security, and to cut costs.
She says this will allow them to use an image verification system to be sure that people don’t have a license or I.D. under several other names. Andre says it will eventually lead to a cost savings as the machines used in the 108 driver’s license stations are very expensive. Andre says it will be cheaper not having to maintain the machines and keep supplies at each of the stations.
Andre says the old licenses cost the D.O.T $3.14 cents each, while the new card will cost 15 cents more, but will be more durable. Andre says they are going to new card stock so that cards will be less likely to break. She says men often have a problem of the current licenses breaking when they sit on their wallets. And she says they will add new security features that will help law officers. Andre says the change will not increase the cost of the licenses. She says the process has been successful in other states.
Andre says there are over 22 states that use the system and Colorado was the most recent. Andre recently talked with Colorado officials and they told her they had a "handful" of complaints. She says Nebraska is set to move to the centralized system very soon.
Andre says the D.O.T. issues an average of 850,000 licenses annually, with that hitting one million licenses some years in the five-year renewal cycle. Andre says they won’t know the exact cost savings until they start a new contract with the centralized system.