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New high-tech licenses slow down DMV delivery

December 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The Department of Motor Vehicles has gone high tech with drivers' licenses, but production has slowed down and the state is behind in delivering new licenses to motorists.It may take as much as two months for people to receive new California driver's licenses or identification cards, about double the time of what it used to take.

"You stand around waiting all morning just to be seen, and then you have to wait six to eight weeks to get what you're here for, but they don't have you wait six to eight weeks to pay them the money for it," said Julius Greene, a frustrated DMV customer.

The new security-enhanced features on the card are to blame.

The improvements are supposed to make the California driver's license counterfeit proof, but apparently the details are too much for the maker, Connecticut-based L-1 Identity Solutions. California is forced to reject any error, even if it's just a smudge.

"If the card has any imperfection on it at all, we send it back," said Mike Marando, a DVM spokesman. "We don't have the luxury to be close on our driver's licenses, so our expectation is that every single card has to be 100 percent correct."

With the new license, if a driver is pulled over by a police officer, their record will show they're up to date, the DMV said.

The agency also said travelers can board a flight with an expired license or identification card as long as they go through extra screening.

The DMV has to stick with L-1 Identity Solutions because they handle the new licenses for 46 states. California is working with the company to speed things up.

Meantime, the DMV suggests getting a temporary license or identification card, but that means more waiting, whether on hold on the phone or standing in line at a field office.


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