DMV blog highlights what’s new with driver’s license services, a snapshot of what’s in store for 2019

DMV News: Driver's License

A little more than a month into 2019, the Division of Motor Vehicles will be sharing updates about new initiatives and enhancements that are taking place within the Idaho Transportation Department. Much of this information is already regularly shared through DMV GO, an in-house publication shared with all DMV employees, as well as our county sheriff partners in licensing and assessor offices. Moving forward, this blog will share information about DMV services with employees and citizens.

New service enhancements are already in the works for Driver’s License services in 2019. However, we’d like to provide a recap of where we are after vendor software issues caused major service disruptions statewide for customers visiting county driver’s license offices, which are operated by sheriff’s staff.

In early Aug. 2018, the DMV successfully launched the GEM Modernization effort, replacing a 40-year old mainframe system that was outdated. Two weeks later, vendor software for capturing customer pictures and signatures failed—crippling the ability of DMV offices to service customers for one week. It is important to note the failure was with the vendor’s system, not ITD’s modernization effort.

Realizing the vendor was unable to fix the problems, the modernization team (DMV and IT staff) jumped into action and created an entirely new program to capture photos and signatures in just two days. Since then, there have been no outages or shutdowns of DMV offices. Wait times in offices today are essentially back to what they were before the shut down last summer.

Additionally, the DMV has committed several members of the ITD team to visiting county offices and delivering hands-on training regularly in the weeks and months following the August shutdown. The collaboration and communication has been critical to the improved success of our system and the customers it serves.

Concurrent with those efforts, the DMV is in the process of developing an online customer portal that will provide services that allow customers to renew their licenses online. This option would further decrease wait times in county offices. More information on its rollout will be shared in the coming months.

Finally, you’re going to start hearing and seeing a lot about the Star Card, Idaho’s Real ID, as part of a large, multi-faceted media and advertising campaign. The campaign is designed to strongly encourage citizens to renew their license to meet Star Card federal requirements. Without a Real ID, citizens won’t be able to board a plane or enter a federal facility after Oct. 1, 2020. You can learn more about it now by visiting itd.idaho.gov/starcard and using the “Add the Star” tool. It provides a personalized list of documents you will need in order to renew your license with a Star.

Approximately 70,000 of 1.25 licensed Idaho drivers have secured a Star Card to date. Our goal is to see those numbers increase and avoid long lines and missed travel opportunities ahead of the Oct. 2020 deadline.

We look forward to sharing more information highlighting successes in the DMV in our next blog.

ITD launches comprehensive campaign to raise awareness about Star Card-Idaho’s Real ID

Star Card

BOISE – A year after Idaho began issuing the Star Card, Idaho’s Real ID, five percent of Idahoans have applied for the card. Without it on a driver’s license, citizens won’t be able to board a plane or enter a federal facility.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security will require a Star Card, or other approved credential such as a passport, to get through security at airports, courthouses, and military bases.

“Unless you have a passport or another compliant identification, you will need to get a Star Card – Idaho’s Real ID to fly on an airplane or visit federal buildings,” Governor Brad Little said. “The last thing I want is for a family or business traveler to miss a vacation or an important work trip because they didn’t get their Star Cards.”

In addition, Governor Little said, “Getting your Star Card soon instead of waiting until the last minute will help minimize long lines at DMV offices.”

To date, 70,000 of 1.25 million licensed drivers in Idaho have a Star Card.

To raise awareness of the deadline, the DMV is launching a new multi-faceted campaign consisting of videos, advertising in Idaho airports, and on social media and travel sites. The campaign message focuses on the Star Card being your “license to fly” and getting it now so “you don’t get left behind.”

The DMV has developed a helpful “Add the Star” online tool the public can use to determine the documents they need to bring to obtain a Star Card. It is also mailing renewal postcards to Idahoans whose driver’s licenses or IDs are going to expire, urging them to consider getting a Star Card.

“The need for a Real ID is here. We are asking Idaho citizens to please go to your local county DMV office as soon as possible to help avoid long lines as we get close to October 1, 2020.” said Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian Ness. “Wait times are back to normal at all offices across the state. To make the renewal process for getting a Star Card easy, visit the ITD website first to ensure you come to your DMV office with the right documents to avoid multiple trips.”

The REAL ID Act of 2005 was enacted by Congress as a result of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”

For a full list of compliant credentials, visit itd.idaho.gov/starcard

For more information go to the Star Card brochure.

 

DMV to offer mail-in renewals for driver’s licenses that expire in November and December

BOISE — In an effort to alleviate long lines in county Division of Motor Vehicle driver’s licensing offices, the Idaho Transportation Department will provide citizens with licenses that expire in November and December an option to renew driver’s licenses and identification cards by mail.

ITD has been exploring potential solutions to assist county DMV offices after vendor technological issues forced statewide driver’s license offices to close for nearly a week in August. Offices reopened in late August, but long lines of customers seeking driver’s license services continue in many counties.

The DMV will send all citizens with licenses expiring in November and December a form so they can opt to renew by mail, instead of going to physical offices. Mail-in renewals also will be available in county offices that process and provide driver’s license services. ITD will track the number of mail-in renewals and work with the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association to decide whether or not there’s a need to extend this process past the end of the year.

“This system failure has at no time been the responsibility or fault of our County Sheriffs and their staff, said Idaho Sheriffs Association President Kieran Donahue. “The combination of vendor software failures and upgrades to other software have not been able to achieve what either the Sheriffs or ITD would have expected for a system which supplies such vital service to the citizens of the state. We are hopeful the mail-in renewal process will help take some pressure off the system and our citizens while the state works on remedying the situation by exploring other long-term solutions.”

Since an ITD interim solution was implemented after that multi-day outage, the system is stable. Transaction times however have been slower, contributing to longer lines in some offices.

“ITD appreciates our county sheriffs and staff that have been working tirelessly to assist customers that have been unable to receive a license due to late-summer system issues,” said ITD DMV Division Administrator Alberto Gonzalez. “In the future, the DMV plans to offer an online customer portal that provides self-service functions for various licensing needs. Currently, ITD is eager to provide this mail-in renewal option effective this week.”

There are some specifics associated with the mail-in driver’s license renewal process. Some highlights include:

  • Only licenses that expire in November and December 2018 are available for mail-in renewal.
  • The Star Card, Idaho’s Real ID, will NOT be available by mail. Citizens seeking the Star Card must present required documents in person at DMV offices to meet federal requirements. For a full list of items that are accepted to obtain the Star Card visit, itd.idaho.gov/starcard.
  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders cannot renew by mail.
  • Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to renew by mail.
  • Drivers between the ages of 21 to 69 years of age are eligible to renew by mail.

ITD, the Sheriffs’ Association and Governor C.L “Butch” Otter’s office are working closely in partnership with each other on permanent, long-term solutions to DMV licensing issues.
It’s important to note that County assessor’s offices that issue vehicle registrations and titles are not experiencing long lines or delays.

For more information, citizens are encouraged to call the ITD DMV Customer Care Center at 208.334.8736.
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DMV driver’s license status update; plus status check on license issuance across Idaho

Sept. 10, 2018 UPDATE

Two weeks after vendor software issues halted the issuance of driver’s licenses in county DMV offices across Idaho, an interim solution is in place—with licenses being successfully processed for customers. With the system stabilized, the Idaho Transportation Department will work collaboratively with sheriffs to develop a long-term solution.

During the week of Sept. 3, statewide offices were open without interruption and the number of licenses issued increased daily. On Sept. 4, 1,724 credentials were processed. That number jumped to 2,023 on Sept. 6. While many offices saw larger volumes of customers, an ITD emergency extension for expired licenses has provided a reprieve for customers through Oct. 31, 2018.

Critical to the success of a stable system, is enhanced communication and partnership with sheriffs, county staff, law enforcement and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s office. Daily communications and updates provide coordinated information to multiple parties and has created a positive dialogue. That conversation will continue specific to the exploration of a permanent plan that alleviates service interruptions

“The collaboration between ITD, the sheriffs, county staff and Governor’s Office has been tremendous,” said ITD Division of Motor Vehicles Administrator Alberto Gonzalez. “ITD again thanks every customer and our county partners for their patience as we move forward.”

To learn more about extension details, click here. To speak to a member of ITD’s DMV customer care team, please call 208.334.8736.

Sept. 7, 2018 UPDATE

  • License transactions continue to increase statewide. On Sept. 6, 2,023 credentials were issued. An average summer Thursday sees around 1,870.
  • Office traffic remains steady.
  • ITD thanks everyone for their patience as the system remains stable and the workaround solution is maintained.

Sept. 6, 2018 UPDATE

  • County DMV offices continue to process and issue licenses. On Sept. 5, 1,838 licenses were issued statewide. That’s an increase over the 1,724 issued the day prior.
  • Office traffic remains steady.

Sept. 5, 2018 UPDATE

  • County DMV offices are processing and issuing driver’s licenses. On Sept. 4, 1,724 licenses were issued statewide. A typical day sees somewhere between 1,850-1,900. The steady progress indicates the system workaround solution is working.
  • Additional training between ITD and county DMV staff continues.
  • Office traffic remains steady. Large volumes of customers are expected this week after outages last week. ITD and county staff appreciate the patience of customers visiting offices.

Sept. 4, 2018 UPDATE

  • All county DMV offices are expected to be open this week. Please check with our local DMV office for hours of operation.
  • The working solution remains in place for county sheriff staff to issue driver’s licenses.
  • Larger volumes of customers are anticipated. ITD and county staff appreciate the patience of our customers.
  • More information is available about the emergency extension implementation through Oct. 31, 2018, for all Idaho drivers with expiring or expired driver’s licenses due to recent DMV office closures.
    Idahoans whose driver’s licenses expired in July and August and have not renewed or licenses will expire in September:

    • Will automatically have their licenses extended until Oct. 31 by the DMV
    • This extension will be made to the individual’s DMV record and be visible to law enforcement
    • The extension will be available to the driver’s vehicle insurance company

    Idahoans who are flying commercially whose license have been extended by the DMV need to:

    • Present their current license to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
    • The TSA accepts a driver’s license that is up to one year past the expiration date as a valid identity document
    • If your license has been expired for more than one year, you will need to renew it at a county Sheriff’s DMV office

    The extension does not apply to:

    • Drivers whose privileges are currently suspended
    • Drivers with Commercial Drivers Licenses who do not have a legal presence document with the DMV
    • Drivers with Commercial Drivers Licenses with an expired HazMat endorsement

    Idahoans who have questions can contact the DMV at:


Aug. 31, 2018

The Idaho Transportation Department and county sheriff staff continue to use a workaround solution to issue driver’s licenses. Please check with your local DMV office for hours of operation as more counties open their doors. ITD appreciates our customers and county staff for their patience as driver’s license services come back online in counties across the state.

More information is available about the emergency extension implementation through Oct. 31, 2018, for all Idaho drivers with expiring or expired driver’s licenses due to recent DMV office closures.

Idahoans whose driver’s licenses expired in July and August and have not renewed or licenses will expire in September:

  • Will automatically have their licenses extended until Oct. 31 by the DMV
  • This extension will be made to the individual’s DMV record and be visible to law enforcement
  • The extension will be available to the driver’s vehicle insurance company

Idahoans who are flying commercially whose license have been extended by the DMV need to:

  • Present their current license to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • The TSA accepts a driver’s license that is up to one year past the expiration date as a valid identity document
  • If your license has been expired for more than one year, you will need to renew it at a county Sheriff’s DMV office

The extension does not apply to:

  • Drivers whose privileges are currently suspended
  • Drivers with Commercial Drivers Licenses who do not have a legal presence document with the DMV
  • Drivers with Commercial Drivers Licenses with an expired HazMat endorsement

Idahoans who have questions can contact the DMV at:

 

MORE DETAILS: Driver’s license and I.D. card extension information for drivers with expired or expiring licenses

The Idaho Transportation Department and county sheriff staff continue to use a workaround solution to issue driver’s licenses. Please check with your local DMV office for hours of operation as more counties open their doors. ITD appreciates our customers and county staff for their patience as driver’s license services come back online in counties across the state.

More information is available about the emergency extension implementation through Oct. 31, 2018, for all Idaho drivers with expiring or expired driver’s licenses due to recent DMV office closures.

Idahoans whose driver’s licenses expired in July and August and have not renewed or licenses will expire in September:

  • Will automatically have their licenses extended until Oct. 31 by the DMV
  • This extension will be made to the individual’s DMV record and be visible to law enforcement
  • The extension will be available to the driver’s vehicle insurance company

Idahoans who are flying commercially whose license have been extended by the DMV need to:

  • Present their current license to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • The TSA accepts a driver’s license that is up to one year past the expiration date as a valid identity document
  • If your license has been expired for more than one year, you will need to renew it at a county Sheriff’s DMV office

The extension does not apply to:

  • Drivers whose privileges are currently suspended
  • Drivers with Commercial Drivers Licenses who do not have a legal presence document with the DMV
  • Drivers with Commercial Drivers Licenses with an expired HazMat endorsement

Idahoans who have questions can contact the DMV at:

 

DMV provides extension to drivers with expiring or expired licenses; extension in effect immediately

The Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles has implemented an emergency extension through Oct. 31, 2018, for all Idaho drivers with expiring or expired driver’s licenses due to recent DMV office closures. Information about this extension has been communicated to county sheriff, local, state and national law enforcement and is in immediate effect.

ITD DMV Administrator Alberto Gonzalez implemented this emergency extension Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. This comes less than 24 hours after severe vendor software issues forced most DMV county offices that issue driver’s licenses to close their doors.

There are some exclusions to the extension; including Commercial Drivers License (CDLs) holders who do not have a legal presence document on file with Idaho’s DMV and drivers whose privileges are currently withdrawn until reinstatement requirements are fulfilled.

Customers or agencies with questions or in need of documentation to support the extension are encouraged to call the ITD DMV at 208.334.8736 or contact their local sheriff office.

Specific to DMV license services not being available, ITD is working closely with our vendor, sheriffs and county staff to get services online as quickly as possible. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter also has called a working group of stakeholders together to move forward with a short and long-term fix.

ITD greatly appreciates the patience of our customers and county staff and as we collectively work together to secure a permanent Idaho solution.

 

Statement from DMV Administrator about recent outages affecting issuance of driver’s license services

Statement from DMV Administrator about recent outages affecting issuance of driver’s license services

Statement from ITD Division of Motor Vehicles Administrator Alberto Gonzalez about recent outages affecting the issuance of driver’s license services in Idaho.

“This level of service affecting citizens, sheriffs and the Idaho Transportation Department is unacceptable. ITD has been continuing to work with our vendor as they work toward a solution, but outages have increased and even spread to other states. We need an Idaho solution.

ITD’s solution is to eliminate the dependency on the real time communication with our vendor’s software. ITD plans to implement the solution statewide by Thursday. It would allow county staff to input customer information in person without having to communicate in real time with our vendor. It will be stored on a server. At the end of the day, information would be provided to the vendor.

We believe this will allow county and ITD staff to provide a level of service our citizens and partners deserve.

To our partners at the county sheriff offices: We appreciate and share your frustration and concerns and are committed to fixing these problems. We are ready to meet with sheriffs and partners on solutions that will help us move forward.”

Below is the letter ITD sent to Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue in response to his correspondence with Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Click here for letter.

 

ITD recommends county sheriff’s offices close due to ongoing driver’s license issuance problems

12:10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28

BOISE—Due to ongoing outages related to the Division of Motor Vehicle’s software vendor that issues driver’s licenses, the Idaho Transportation Department is recommending sheriff’s offices close their doors while troubleshooting continues.

Please check with your local sheriff’s office.

ITD will be sharing more information at 1:30 p.m. on short and long-term solutions to these ongoing problems.

More information on ITD media availability will be shared at that time.

 

7:25 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28

DMV transactions, vendor systems appear normal

DMV STATUS UPDATE – Normal transactions are resuming at county offices – licensing vendor systems appear to be working normally.

 

1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27

Multi-state outage affects driver’s license system in Idaho

Driver’s License services are currently down across Idaho due to a multi-state outage by the vendor that provides driver’s license issuance through the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles.

There is no current estimated time on when the system will be online. ITD apologizes for the inconvenience to our customers and county staff.

This outage is unrelated to the recent software upgrades ITD and county sheriff’s offices completed in early August.

ITD will provide updates throughout the day as we work with the vendor and county staff.

County DMV offices statewide to close Aug. 9-10 for system upgrades

Idaho’s computer system for issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards will upgrade this month from a 1980s mainframe to a more modern system.

To make this transition, all county sheriff’s DMV offices that issue driver’s licenses and identification cards, will be closed Thursday, Aug. 9 and Friday, Aug. 10.

County assessor’s offices will remain open to issue vehicle registrations and titles. Disability placards will not be available during the two-day closure.

County sheriff’s DMV offices will reopen on Monday, Aug. 13, however customers should anticipate delays while employees adjust to the new system.

“We are very pleased to move to a new system that is designed to provide enhanced security and increased customer service to citizens across Idaho,” said Idaho Transportation Department Division of Motor Vehicles Administrator Alberto Gonzalez.

The ITD DMV Headquarters office in Boise will also be closed to the public Aug. 9-10. The office assists the public through telephone calls and emails with driving records, driver’s license extensions and reinstatement fees.

“We are encouraging citizens needing to apply for or renew their driver’s license or identification card in August to do so before Aug. 9, or if possible wait until the week of Aug. 20,” Gonzalez said. “The DMV clerks will be trained in the new system, but there will likely be delays while they become more familiar with it.”

This is the second phase of a three-phase project to modernize the state’s DMV system. In 2017, the first phase was completed when permanent disability placards became available at the county assessor’s offices rather than at the DMV headquarters in Boise to better serve customers. The third phase will move vehicle registrations and title records from the mainframe computer next year.

DMV/Drivers Licensing service restored statewide

All DMV Services, Including drivers licensing, will be open at county offices throughout Idaho following yesterday’s software problems. Technicians worked late into the night to fix the issue and tested the solution to ensure it works.

The information of our customers was not at risk during the latest outages. The outage stemmed from software issues experienced by our vendor, Gemalto. The technical issues did not allow county DMV offices to process IDs or licenses, but motor-vehicle transactions such as registrations and titles continued unaffected.

In March, ITD, the Department of Administration, and Gemalto formulated a stabilization plan in response to extensive outages — 25 of them in 2017 and the first few months of 2018. The system has been much more stable since then. ITD still encourages anyone heading to the DMV to first visit the “DMV Status” link on our webpage.

“We appreciate the patience of our customers and our county representatives statewide as we worked diligently to fix the problem,” Alberto Gonzalez, Idaho DMV Administrator, said. “We will continue to work tirelessly to make the system as stable as possible.”