ITD DMV and county officials urge online renewals in response to COVID-19 caused backlog

DMV offices across the state are beginning to reopen their doors. But because of the earlier COVID-19 closures and limited service, there’s a backlog of thousands of Idahoans who need DMV services.

Tuesday, May 19, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), county sheriffs, and county assessors came together to urge drivers to use online services to help ease the backlog.

“The DMVs across the state typically conduct about 250,000 transactions a month, but because of the limited office access during COVID, we have a significant backlog of approximately 100,000 customers. We’re encouraging the public to go online, at itd.idaho.gov, and only go into the DMV office if it is absolutely necessary,” said DMV Administrator Alberto Gonzalez.

“If you can renew online, we highly suggest it, and highly encourage it,” Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue added. “It’s so much more efficient for the customer and really for the staff so they’re not overburdened with a higher backlog than we already have, and we’re going to have backlog for some time.”

At itd.idaho.gov you can easily renew your license or vehicle registration, and more. By renewing online, you’ll save yourself time, and other’s time, reducing the wait for those who have to visit the DMV in person.

“It allows room for the people who truly need to come to our DMV. If they need to have a VIN inspection done before they transfer a title, out of state folks who we need to see their vehicles and get them through the system, we can’t do online,” said Canyon County Assessor Brian Stender.

“Use our renewal by mail or online so we can divert that population away from our office and leave that really for the people who are first time licenses or out of state,” added Ada County Sheriff Steve Bartlett, pictured right.

And not only are you practicing safe social distancing, renewing online is convenient too.

“You can do it from the comfort of your couch at home, you can do it on your lunch hour at work, it’s very simple, easy, and quick,” Stender said.

If you do need to make a visit to the DMV, be sure to call ahead before you go. Office hours and availability vary by county, and you may need to make an appointment. Licenses and registrations expiring between March 1st and May 31st now have until June 30th to renew. The federal deadline for the Star Card-Idaho’s REAL ID has also been extended a full year to October 2021.

“The higher number of people who go online, the better the service will be in the county offices, and the better we’ll be able to manage that backlog,” Gonzalez said.

Click here for the DMV’s online services and more.

 

 

ITD DMV employees work from home to continue helping Idaho drivers

Beth Thompson

Idaho Transportation Department Division of Motor Vehicles employees continue to work hard from home to help Idaho drivers.

During this COVID-19 emergency, DMV Customer Contact Center employees are dedicated to keep assisting Idahoans with their DMV concerns while maintaining safe social distancing protocols. More than 160 people are working from home, answering phone calls related to all aspects of DMV operations. That includes driver’s licenses, vehicle registration and titles, motor carrier registration and permits, and vehicle dealer support. These DMV employees are taking more than 1,000 calls a day from the public, and more than 800 a day from county DMV offices across the state.

“We are living in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. It’s crucial that when the public, counties, or law enforcement of Idaho needs us with questions or assistance we are there on the other end of the call,” said Beth Thompson, Driver Records Program Supervisor. “Behind the scenes, ITD DMV is doing almost the entirety of the work from home. Whether it be a simple change of address or a complex issue regarding a driver’s license and suspension.”

They’re also helping process license and registration renewals by mail, over the phone, and online. As Idaho prepares to reopen for business, county DMV offices are adjusting hours of operation and services. ITD encourages drivers to use the online customer portal at itd.idaho.gov/driveidaho to reduce crowds and keep wait times down.

More Idahoans than ever are now using the DMV’s expanded online services. Online vehicle registrations grew from 16,000 in February to 31,000 in March, and are expected to reach over 40,000 in April. Online driver’s license and ID renewals increased from 900 in February to 2,400 in March, with 7,000 estimated in April.

Online DMV services at itd.idaho.gov/driveidaho include:

  • Driver’s license renewal (not for first-time Star Card)
  • Acquiring a replacement driver’s license or identification card
  • Paying driver’s license reinstatement fees
  • Purchasing a driving record
  • Vehicle registration renewal
  • Ordering personalized license plates
  • Checking status of vehicle plates and titles
  • Commercial vehicle oversize/overweight permits
  • Commercial vehicle registrations

The DMV has issued a 90-day extension on some credentials expiring between March 1 and May 31, 2020. This includes driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations that can be renewed online. Those expiring between March 1 and May 31 now have until June 30, 2020 to renew.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline one year, to October 1, 2021. This gives Idahoans an additional year to get the Star Card, Idaho’s REAL ID.

DMV office hours and services are determined by county sheriffs and assessors and vary statewide. Please contact your county office before you make the trip, and remember you can always call ITD’s DMV Customer Contact Center at 208.334.8000. Employees will be happy to help you even as they work from home.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my Driver Records team for weathering this storm like champions. They have handled it with integrity and grace and continue to give the very best customer service,” Thompson said.

For more information and resources visit itd.idaho.gov/driveidaho.

“Lunches for Truckers” supports truck drivers at East Boise Port of Entry

Idaho Trucking Association provides lunches to Truckers

Generosity is pouring in across Idaho during the COVID-19 emergency. Friday, April 3, the Idaho Trucking Association (ITA) showed support to thousands of truck drivers traveling through the Idaho Transportation Department’s East Boise Port of Entry.

Idaho Trucking Association provides lunches to Truckers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ITA’s “Lunches for Truckers” project provided a free boxed meal to the hard working drivers who are keeping resources moving. Governor Brad Little and other volunteers handed out 2,000 lunches to appreciative truck drivers.

“With all the other challenges we’re having as we get through this coronavirus issue, it’s really important that commerce is maintained. Everybody knows about the shortages that exist in the grocery store. Who they need to appreciate are the men and women who are driving these trucks and right now are part of that critical infrastructure people need to survive,” Governor Little said.Idaho Trucking Association provides lunches to Truckers

As trucks rolled through the East Boise Port of Entry, drivers honked, waved, and smiled out the window, grateful for the recognition.

“We just want the trucking industry to know they’re really important in Idaho and we appreciate them,” said Governor Little, shown above in cowboy hat.

Idaho DMV encourages use of expanded online services

The Idaho Transportation Department’s Division of Motor Vehicles encourages residents to complete DMV services online, as COVID-19 leads to limited in-person service at most county driver’s license and registration offices across the state. The customer service portal at itd.idaho.gov/driveidaho now offers expanded online services including driver’s license and registration renewals, and motor carrier services like commercial vehicle permits and registrations; traditionally services that would require a visit to a DMV office.

“In an effort to assist citizens who need to take care of their immediate DMV needs, such as commercial driver’s license renewals, the itd.idaho.gov/driveidaho website is a great resource to complete many transactions,” said DMV Administrator Alberto Gonzalez.

The DMV has instituted a 90-day extension on some credentials expiring between March 1 and May 31, 2020, in order to help drivers through this COVID-19 pandemic. This includes driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations that can be renewed online. Those expiring between March 1 and May 31, 2020 now have until June 30, 2020 to renew. The DMV urges Idahoans to utilize the online customer service portal now, in order to prevent long wait times when DMV offices eventually reopen.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline one year, to October 1, 2021. This gives Idahoans an additional year to get the Star Card, Idaho’s REAL ID.

DMV office hours and services are determined by county sheriffs and assessors, and vary statewide. For more information, please contact your county office, log onto itd.idaho.gov/driveidaho, or call the Idaho DMV at 208.334.8000.

ITD issues 90-day extension on expiring credentials, encourages use of online services

To reduce large gatherings of people, the Idaho Transportation Department’s Division of Motor Vehicle is instituting a 90-day extension on some credentials. The public is also encouraged to use the DMV’s online services rather than go to the county sheriffs’ and assessors’ offices for essential services.

The 90-day extension applies to driver’s licenses and non-commercial registration. If one of these credentials expires between March 1st and May 31st of 2020, you will have until June 30th 2020 to renew.  Many of these can be renewed online.

“As each county office decides the best way to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, ITD is committed to providing remote services online, by mail, or over the phone,” said ITD’s Division of Motor Vehicle Administrator Alberto Gonzalez. “Much of the business the public needs to do with the DMV can be done through one of those methods. This balances the need to preserve public safety with the need for essential government services to keep people and products moving.”

County offices are managed by both the county sheriff’s office and county assessor’s office. In total, there are 88 county DMV jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction has the authority to close its offices or change the way to conduct business.

Some county DMV offices have already closed and others are considering it. ITD encourages the public to call their county office before leaving to see the current status. Contact information for each office can be found at itd.idaho.gov/itddmv.

The following services are available online, through mail, or over the phone.

  • Driver’s license renewal (not for first-time Star Card)
  • Acquiring a replacement driver’s license or identification card
  • Paying driver’s license reinstatement fees
  • Purchasing a driving record
  • Vehicle registration renewal
  • Ordering personalized license plates
  • Checking status of vehicle plates and titles
  • Commercial vehicle oversize/overweight permits
  • Commercial vehicle registrations

Please note, the Oct. 1, 2020 deadline to use a Star Card (Idaho’s REAL ID) or other federally-approved identification for federal security at airports, military bases, or federal courts is outside the control of the State of Idaho. ITD and the Governor’s Office is in communication with our Congressional Delegation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House regarding this matter in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With federal deadline approaching, DMV encourages residents to get their Star Card

Star Card

 
Eight months ahead of the federally mandated deadline, the DMV continues to raise awareness about the importance of getting a Star Card—Idaho’s Real ID. Without a Star Card, passport, or other compliant identification, citizens won’t be able board a plane or enter a federal facility after Oct. 1, 2020.

Currently, 268,241 of 1.25 million licensed drivers have a Star Card. That figure is significantly higher than it was in Feb. 2019, when just 70,000 residents had the Star Card.

“Now more than ever, Idahoans need to plan ahead, and not wait to get their Star Card,” said DMV Division Administrator Alberto Gonzalez. “Preparing now will save you headaches later when you may have an important planned or unplanned trip, and you get turned away from boarding a plane because you don’t have a compliant ID.

The increased awareness of the Star Card is attributed to a collaborative statewide campaign that began one year ago. During the campaign, ITD representatives traveled across Idaho promoting the Star Card through media appearances and press events with sheriff-office partners.

Additionally, multi-faceted campaign tools include continuous advertising, social media messaging, presentations, partnerships with Idaho State Liquor Division, PERSI (state retirement system), Idaho’s three major universities, and other entities.

You must obtain a Star Card in person by visiting your county driver’s license office with documents that prove your identity, social security and residency. To personalize the list of documents, visit itd.idaho.gov/starcard and click on the “Add the Star” tool. The public is also encouraged to call the DMV at 208.334.8736 if they have questions about the process.

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.”

Idaho drivers must provide proof of insurance to DMV, or have registration suspended, as new law takes effect in 2020

Drive Insured! Be safe, be smart! Insure your vehicle or lose your registration.

Vehicle owners will need to provide proof of insurance for two consecutive months or risk having their registration suspended beginning in 2020.

The law (Idaho Code Section 49-1234) was passed during the 2019 Idaho legislative session and goes into effect in January. It requires the Idaho Transportation Department’s Division of Motor Vehicles to determine monthly whether the owner of a vehicle has insurance. The law applies only to non-commercial vehicles, and excludes trailers and off-highway vehicles.

A notification letter will be sent to affected vehicle owners to alert them of the law change.

Owners without insurance coverage for two consecutive months will receive a warning and be given 30 days to provide proof of insurance or obtain an exemption before their registration is suspended.

To reinstate a suspended registration, owners will need to provide proof of insurance and pay a fee of $75.

Some vehicles are exempt from this mandate. For a full list of frequently asked questions, please visit itd.idaho.gov/driveidaho

Star Card media tour generates coverage and awareness about federal deadline requirements for driver’s licenses and IDs across Idaho

Two weeks, seven Idaho counties and countless media interviews later, Star Card awareness was heighted across the state thanks to a joint media campaign with the DMV and sheriff’s offices. The tour was scheduled exactly one year ahead of the nationwide deadline, in which residents will need a Star Card, passport or other compliant-ID to board a plane, or access a federal facility.

As part of a comprehensive campaign, DMV Spokesperson Jennifer Gonzalez joined Sheriffs and driver’s licensing staff during media gatherings in the seven largest counties DMV offices to again highlight the importance of getting a Star Card by Oct. 1, 2020, or get grounded.

For two weeks, multi-media reporters and journalists were able to visit DMV offices in Bonneville, Bingham, Bannock, Twin Falls, Kootenai, Latah and Nez Perce counties, and seek interviews and information in an accessible format. The amount of news coverage this opportunity netted has been nothing short of tremendous. Here is a link to just a handful of the stories that were generated: Local News 8, Coeur D’Alene Press, Post-Register,  KTVB and KREM.

For a full link to everything you need to know about the Star Card, visit itd.idaho.gov/starcard

Idaho Governor, DMV and transportation officials continue to raise awareness about Star Card, Idaho’s Real ID deadline

DMV News: Driver's License

One year ahead of the federally-mandated deadline, the DMV continues to raise awareness of the importance of obtaining a Star Card, Idaho’s Real ID. Without a star on a driver’s license after October 1, 2020, citizens won’t be able to board a plane or enter a federal facility.

The Department of Homeland Security will require a Star Card, or other approved credential such as a passport or military ID, to get through security at airports, federal buildings and military bases.

Currently 185,106 of 1.25 million licensed drivers have a Star Card.

“Idahoans must have a passport or the Star Card in order to board a plane after October 1, 2020, and I strongly encourage everyone to get their Star Card with plenty of time ahead of the deadline,” Governor Brad Little said. “The last thing we want is for someone to miss an important trip because they don’t have the necessary identification to board their flight.”

Over the past year, the DMV has highlighted this important deadline as part of its multi-faceted campaign consisting of videos, presentations, advertising and social media. Campaign messages focus on the Star Card being your “license to fly” and getting it now so “you don’t get left behind.”

A new campaign kicks off this fall and is a partnership with Boise State University, Idaho State University and the University of Idaho. It features mascots of all three schools at airport security with a Star Card in hand ahead of the deadline—and encourages Idahoans to plan ahead.

In addition, a two-week media tour kicks off Oct. 1, with DMV representatives traveling to offices statewide and promoting the Star Card through media appearances and informal press events.

The goal remains the same–ensuring all Idahoans are aware that while getting a Star Card isn’t mandatory, without it, you’ll have to provide a passport or other form of ID for travel in and out of Idaho and beyond.

“We are pleased more Idahoans are getting the Star Card, and the DMV wants to keep building on that momentum,” said DMV Division Administrator Alberto Gonzalez. “October 1, 2020 will be here before you know it, so planning ahead is crucial.”

For more information about the required documents to obtain a Star Card at county DMV offices, please visit itd.idaho.gov/starcard and click on the “Add the Star” tool.

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.”

ITD launches new online services website for many Division of Motor Vehicles transactions

Idahoans needing to renew their driver’s license, identification card or vehicle license plate can now “skip the line by going online” through a new website, Drive Idaho.

“Our new online services page, Drive Idaho, brings all of the new and existing DMV’s online services into one, easy-to-navigate page,” Division of Motor Vehicles Administrator Alberto Gonzalez said.

“Qualified Idahoans can now skip the line at the county sheriffs’ and assessors’ offices by going online for DMV services.”

Idahoans cannot apply for the Star Card, Idaho’s REAL ID online. To obtain a Star Card, go to itd.idaho.gov/starcard to learn what documents must be taken to the county sheriff’s office.

Here is a complete list of online services:

• Renew their driver’s license or ID
• Purchase a replacement driver’s license or ID
• Check the status of their driving privileges
• Pay reinstatement fees
• Update an address
• Renew a vehicle license plate
• Order personalized license plates
• Check the status of a vehicle license plate or title, and
• Other DMV services

Beginning July 1, two new online services will be added to the website for commercial truck registrations and oversize/overweight trip permits.

“Not only will the online services at the Drive Idaho website be convenient, but it will reduce lines at the county offices for those who choose or are required to go there for DMV services,” Gonzalez said.

Idahoans can access the DMV Drive Idaho online services 24 hours a day, seven days a week including holidays at: itd.idaho.gov/DriveIdaho

“ITD in partnership with Access Idaho was able to extend online services to the public. Our new system for driver’s licenses has been stable for nine months, transactions statewide continue to exceed last year’s totals and wait times for the public at county sheriff’s offices have stabilized.”