07/22/09 — Licensing changes coming soon to DMV offices

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Licensing changes coming soon to DMV offices

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 22, 2009 1:46 PM

Driver's license offices in Goldsboro and Mount Olive next week will be among the area's 16 offices that will be closed for half a day as the state changes driver's license offices in 14 eastern North Carolina counties from "over-the-counter" to "central issuance" of driver licenses and ID cards.

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will close the offices for a half day between Monday and Thursday to prepare for the new process.

The Goldsboro office in the DMV Building, 701 W. Grantham St., will close at noon on Wednesday, July 29 and reopen on Thursday, July 30 at 8 a.m.

The Mount Olive office, 110 N. Chestnut St., will close at 8 a.m. on Thursday, July 30 and reopen at 1 p.m.

Other local offices are:

* Kinston, DMV Building, 2214 W. Vernon Ave., U.S. 70 West, will close at noon on Thursday, July 30 and reopen on Friday, July 31 at 8 a.m.

* Wilson, DMV Building, 1822 Goldsboro St., SW, will close at noon on Wednesday, July 29 and reopen on Thursday, July 30 at 8 a.m.

* Greenville, Carolina East Center, 3400 S. Memorial Drive, Suite 10, will close at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29 and reopen at 1 p.m.

"The new issuance process will protect against identity theft and address fraud, helping to keep license production secure," said DMV Commissioner Mike Robertson. "It also means that North Carolina will become one of the top states in the nation for producing secure and trusted driving and identification credentials."

Under central issuance, customers renewing their licenses or applying for new licenses will continue to visit local offices to take required tests and have their photos made.

But rather than receiving their driver's licenses over the counter, customers will receive a temporary driving permit valid for 20 days while their personal information is verified and their license or card is processed and mailed to them.

Drivers will be able to keep their current driver's license to use for photo identification until they receive their new license.

DMV officials expect most licenses to be delivered by mail within 7 to 10 days and encourages drivers to renew their licenses early to ensure receiving their new licenses prior to the expiration date. Drivers may renew licenses up to six months before their birthday renewal dates.

Applying for or renewing licenses early is important to maintain identification for such activities as boarding plane flights and completing financial transactions. In North Carolina, a valid state-issued driver's license is also required to register most vehicles.

The DMV operated pilot programs for the new process at Harnett County driver's license offices in Lillington and Erwin over the past year. Since July 1, 2008, more than 63,000 drivers received licenses through central issuance at these locations.

Sixteen states have either started or completed their transition to central issuance of driver's licenses. Among them, Virginia completed its rollout to 74 offices statewide on June 18. Georgia plans to begin its rollout this fall.

DMV began phasing in the central issuance program statewide earlier this month in Wake County, followed by 15 counties in western North Carolina. All 114 DMV offices are expected to be converted to the new program by this fall.

Information about the central issuance changeover and answers to frequently asked questions are posted on the DMV Web site at www.ncdot.gov/dmv.