DMV change today: The license is in the mail

CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) – The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles has to change the way it makes driver licenses to comply with federal security standards. The change starts today in the Willimantic office, and will include the whole state in a few weeks. The hope is, your identity will be more secure, and you might have to spend less time at the DMV.

Whenever you have renewed your Connecticut driver license before, you have left the office with your new license in hand. Not anymore.

“Rather than getting it there, you won’t have to wait for that, we will mail it to each of our customers,” explained Connecticut DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra.

Over the next month, the DMV will roll out this change. When you renew your license, they will hand a temporary paper one. The real one will come later. It’s all because of a federal program called Real ID. To prevent identity theft, The DMV Commissioner says individual offices can no longer print licenses.

“It’s all coming from a central secure facility,” Bzdyra said. “Another method of making sure all the materials are in a secure location to prevent fraud and identity theft.”

That single, secure location will print up all the licenses for the whole state, and mail it to you within a couple weeks. The new license will have more security features than ever before.

“The credential itself has far more security features themselves and makes it far more hard to duplicate or tamper with,” Bzdyra said.

He could not give specifics on security information. The hope is that by not waiting around for a printed license, you may be able to leave the DMV faster. Almost two years ago, the DMV switched to a new computer system. In the months that followed, wait times soared to double or triple what they had been. Commissioner Bzdyra took over after all that and says this change should go much better.

“We still have to make improvements and make things better and quicker for our customers, but this is a different technology. The licensing vendor that we are using for this, they’ve been with us for 15 years now.”

It will still take a couple weeks for the license to come in the mail, so go renew it a couple weeks before the old one expires. Remember, you can also renew your license at AAA offices, except the ones in Fairfield and New Haven counties. Those are no longer providing DMV functions.

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