The days of having your photo taken at the DMV and walking out with a new driver’s license or ID card will soon be over. DOT operations manager Patrick Fernan says people will have to wait up to 30 days for those items to come in the mail, as the state implements the federal REAL-ID law.
REAL ID sets new standards for state-issued cards and requires security features that prevent tampering and counterfeiting. Fernan says it’s not cost effective to buy the new equipment need to produce the cards for all 88 service centers across the state. Instead, an out-of-state vendor will make them and mail cards to customers.
The state already does mail out about seven-percent of its products to homes. Fernan does not expect any problems with people receiving new cards in a timely manner, saying other states moving to the system have reported no major issues.
Drivers will not leave the DMV empty handed. Fernan says a photo receipt will be issued that will have all of the same features as the permanent card. It will still work as an ID for banking, voting, and boarding airplanes.
Fernan says other states have found the new system also helps to detect possible cases of identity theft because a physical address is needed for delivery.
The DOT does not have a specific date when the new license standards will be in place. Officials can only say they expect to implement the system before the end of 2011. REAL ID does not take full effect until 2013.