Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New driverís license system in the works

ITD plan aimed at limiting fraud, identity theft

Express Staff Writer

The Idaho Transportation Department will be implementing a new driver's license system in south central Idaho in June, with training for license office staffs scheduled throughout the month.

According to ITD, in Blaine County the driver's license office will close for training from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, June 27. The office is located at 219 First Ave. S. in Hailey.

In Camas County, the office at 119 West Willow St. in Fairfield will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28.

The new system is intended to help protect license holders from identify theft and fraud by incorporating security features that are "nearly impossible to counterfeit," ITD reported.

"We are seeing some attempts at counterfeiting," ITD spokesman Reed Hollinshead said. "Boise police tell us they confiscate dozens of cards every weekend. But it's happening in other places too. This is a measure to counter some of those things."

ITD reported that the cost of a driver's license will remain the same, $30 for a four-year license or $55 for an eight-year license.

However, drivers will no longer be issued cards from county offices. Instead, cards will be produced at a central office serving the entire state.

Drivers will be given a temporary paper license, valid for 30 days, until a new plastic card is mailed. ITD reported that it will typically be about 10 days from when the application is made.

Driver licenses procured under the current system will remain valid until their expiration date.

ITD reported that the new cards will incorporate numerous security features, including "micro-printing ghost images and a laser-perforated pattern that reveals the shape of Idaho when held to the light." Other security features will not be evident, but will make it obvious if a card is altered, ITD reported.

"The central issuance system is an established process that has proven successful and secure," Alan Frew, ITD Department of Motor Vehicles Division administrator, stated in a news release. "This is proven technology shown to improve the security of the license, the data behind it and the security of local DMV offices."

Terry Smith:

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