The system for getting a new driver’s license changes today. All the rules for getting a license are the same, but Kim Snook of the D.O.T. says you’ll now no longer leave the D.O.T. or county treasurer’s office with a warm new driver’s license directly from the machine.
Instead, you’ll walk out with your current license with a hole punched in it and you’ll get a temporary driving document that’s good for 30 days. Your new license will be sent to you in the mail a few days later. Snook says the biggest reason for the change is to prevent identity fraud.
She says they started an image verification system last year, but they only did the verification after the person had left with the new license, and “the fraud we found with the system was significant.” Snook says the delay allows them to do Social Security, address and image verifications to be sure the license is going to the proper person. Snook says over 20 other states issue licenses this way.
Snook says Minnesota has been doing it for a long time, Texas and Oregon are big states that use this system. Nebraska started the system last July, and she says they visited there and got a lot of information on how it works. One of the biggest concerns Snook hears is that there’s a chance for theft of the new license if it’s sent in the mail.
She says she tries to explain that you get credit cards in the mail, if you want a passport, you have to send your certified birth certificate in the mail and the passport comes back through the mail. Snook says they’ve run internal tests and have found licenses come back as quickly as four days. There are 19 D.O.T. driver’s license stations, and 81 county treasurers offices where licenses are issued.
There’s more information explaining the changes on the D.O.T’s website.