New procedure to renew or obtain an NC driver's license

Reported by Laura Sinacori - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT/WBTV) - If it's time to renew your driver's license you may want to do it sooner than later.  A new system is being installed across the state that means you won't walk out of the DMV office with a permanent license in hand.

Because of security concerns and increasing cases of fraud, licenses will be mailed 10 to 15 days after someone renews or gets a new license.

"I think it's better if it can help any kind of situation where somebody is using a fake id or expired id," said resident Karen Roberts.

There are no changes to the testing procedures or fees, and applicants will sit for a photograph as always, but the all the data, including the photo, will be sent to Raleigh where information will be verified before a license is issued and mailed.

"It seems like it's a step backwards," said Frank Baffa. "Let's face it. Stuff does get lost in the mail. If I had it in my hand then I have it in my hand."

Drivers will be given a temporary license when they leave the DMV offices, but it will only be good for 20 days.  While the card will allow someone to legally drive, it will not work as an ID card because there won't be a photo on it, which has some drivers concerned.

"I don't think it's a good idea that they mail it instead of walking out of here with it," said Marilyn White. "I'd feel safer. It could get lost in the mail. We're making a trip in a couple of weeks so we don't know what's going to happen."

Drivers will be able to keep their old licenses as a photo ID, but if the holder waits until it expires to renew, they could run into problems in banking or travel situations.  Businesses don't have to accept the card once it has expired.

According to DMV officials, most problems can be avoided if people begin the process at least three weeks before their license is due to be renewed.

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