Delaware introduces eight-year drivers’ license renewal

The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles plans to transition to an eight-year drivers’ license in an effort to reduce costs and maintain the level of service.

DMV Director Jennifer Cohan says the restructured renewal process will begin in January, 2012. 

It will not be possible to immediately renew every driver for a full eight years instead of the current maximum of five years.  Initially, a computer program will randomly select drivers whose licenses are expiring and assign them for renewals of five, six, seven or eight years.  By December of 2016, all licenses issued in Delaware will be for eight years unless there are circumstance that limit the driver’s residency in the First State, or if the driver carries the hazardous materials endorsement. 

Officials say the number of licensed drivers in Delaware has increased by nearly 100,000 in the past ten years, to just over 652,000.  The additional drivers and corresponding increase in registered vehicles was expected to put an increasing strain on the state’s ability to provide fast and efficient service.  With drivers needing to renew less frequently, officials say wait times at DMV facilities are likely to improve. 

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There will be no change in the annual fee for a license.  A five-year license costs $25, and an eight-year license will cost $40. 

DMV says it has also undertaken other initiatives to minimize the inconvenience of a renewal.  Drivers may go online for some procedures such as next-of-kin registration, and may also view a live feed of customer volume and estimated waiting times at DMV locations.  Drivers are also automatically notified by e-mail when a license is up for expiration, which is always at a driver’s birthday.  Some drive-through services have also been introduced. 

For more information call 1-877-477-7117.

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