New DMV program means Connecticut residents will get licenses via mail

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WETHERSFIELD – Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced a change that is coming for drivers obtaining licenses and IDs.

The department says it will transition to a program that issues license from a single central location in accordance with the federal Real ID Act, meant to better secure peoples identities. The DMV anticipates full implementation by the end of 2017.

Once implemented, drivers will get their licenses in the mail from a central location instead of over the counter at the DMV. They’ll leave the department with a temporary paper copy of their license and their old expiring ID until their new one arrives in the mail in a few days. The central issuance program is already in place in more than 25 other states.

“For many people across the country this is a normal process. For Connecticut, it’s a little unique. You no longer get it over the counter, which is why we’re starting now to kind of begin to inform the public,” said DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra.

The program is intended to cut down on fraud and identity theft issues.

Bzdyra said the program could have other benefits in Connecticut, including shorter wait times at DMV offices. Residents won’t have to wait to get licenses processed at the department, and this program also allows drivers to “skip a trip.”

Also, customers will now be able to do future license renewals online, so you’ll only have to visit the DMV every 12 years, instead of the current six years. Customers will also be able to use the DMV website to replace a lost license or ID.

“It’s more convenient for the customer and of course, there’s less foot traffic at the DMV,” said Bzdyra.

The federal Department of Homeland Security provides Real ID compliant states, such as Connecticut, two options for securing their driver license production processes: 1) To issue from a secure centralized location or 2) To continue the over-the-counter issuing, which would require massive capital investments.

The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, establishes certain security standards for proof of identity and production of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.