Drivers licensing offices process more transactions today, as service times get faster

5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14

BOISE – The number of drivers licenses issued went up at nearly every county office today (Tuesday, Aug. 14) compared to yesterday as staff continue to learn the newly upgraded software system.

Here are some numbers: Statewide offices issued 2,079 licenses and identification cards today, compared to 1,384 all of yesterday (Monday, Aug. 13).

In Ada County, the largest in Idaho, the number went from 159 yesterday to 420. In Kootenai County, with both Coeur d ‘Alene and Post Falls offices open today, 210 credentials were issued, compared to just 82 yesterday. The Post Falls office was closed yesterday. Canyon County was at 173 today, up from 135 yesterday.

As county staff learn continue to learn the system, DMV officials expect the number to rise on a daily basis. Customers are still encouraged to wait until next week if they don’t need renew a license or identification card right away.

 

Drivers licensing offices statewide open, but slower processing times expected

8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14

BOISE – County driver’s licensing offices statewide are up and running today (Tuesday, Aug. 14), but processing times may be slowed as staff continues working with new software recently brought online.

Although the new processes and workflow were challenging, offices statewide processed approximately 1,300 transactions and were running much more smoothly by the end of the day. The 1,300 transactions represent about 65% of normal activity for a Monday.

“We appreciate the patience of customers and our county partners we get used to the new system,” said Alberto Gonzalez, Idaho’s DMV Administrator. “There will continue to be longer service times as county staff work through the new software, so if you can wait until next week to process your transaction, we encourage you to do so. If you can’t wait, we just ask that you be patient with the delays as we work through these issues.”

“We apologize for any inconvenience, but are incredibly grateful that people are patient with us as we get up-to-speed,” he added.

Link to news release announcing closures, 8/1/18

Link to news release reminder about closures, 8/6/18

Note: Updates to the DMV status will be published here periodically throughout the day as staff work with the new system.

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.”

ITD, other community partners in saving lives honored at Donate Life event

Idaho has consistently been one of the top states in the nation when it comes to saying yes to saving lives. These achievements are due in large part to hard work and collaboration. An event celebrating these partnerships and commemorating these successes was held Thursday (April 12) at the Idaho Transportation Department’s Boise office.

Watch a short video of the event

At the event Thursday, the “Yes Idaho” Donate Life Coalition honored local community partners who have been an integral part of saving lives through organ donation. ITD has been crucial in the success of donation in Idaho during the last 20 years through organ donation notifications on drivers licenses.

Many of those partners spoke or were recognized at the event, where the group also unveiled the 2018 Threads of Life Quilt. The quilt was created with individual squares made by people with a personal connection to donation. Many squares honored a loved one who made the decision to donate or to celebrate the life of a transplant recipient.

Community partners recognized included:

The Idaho Transportation Department – Thanks to ITD’s help, the registry grew by 5.2% in 2017, to 64% of the population vs. 2016 census estimate. The national average is 54%. Idaho has 800,000 drivers who chose organ donation on their Idaho licenses.

Senator Lee Heider – Senator Heider has been at advocate for donation for several years. This year, he sponsored two bills related to this topic that became law.
S1249: This legislation instructs institutions of higher education to send a link to the Yes Idaho Donor Registry to their students twice each year.
S1250: Provides for a reminder email to be sent to state employees reminding them that the state of Idaho provides 30 days paid leave for any state employee donating a kidney.

Lillie Kaster — A donor mother who honored the memory of her son by educating the public about the importance of donation. She has reached out to rodeo royalty and recruited ambassadors for donation. They carry a “Yes Idaho” flag in parades while on horseback and speak at public events, sharing the message of donation.

KTVB Channel 7 – The media partner ran a series of stories last spring and four more last fall profiling people and their families touched by organ donation.

There are almost 300 people in Idaho currently waiting for a life-saving transplant. We are very grateful to our community partners for their dedication to saving the lives of those who are waiting. For more information about organ, eye and tissue donation, please log on to the “Yes Idaho” website.

ITD phishing scheme serves as a reminder to stay vigilant against outside cyber threats

In recent weeks, an Idaho Transportation Department Division of Motor Vehicles employee email account was compromised through an external phishing attempt.

In early January, ITD learned that an unauthorized individual used a phishing scheme to gain potential access to an employee’s email account. ITD secured the employee’s email account, reported the incident to law enforcement and the Department of Administration, and engaged a leading computer forensic firm to assist the agency.

In this incident, the attack came out of Nigeria and convinced an employee to give up their credentials.

The initial phase of the investigation determined the information of some customers could have been accessed by a third-party. Since that time, no abuse or theft had been reported. The investigation also determined that access was limited to a single employee email box and 89 customer’s potential information. ITD contacted potentially affected customers offering free credit monitoring.

This event is a good reminder that everyone is under constant threat whether at work or at home to this type of event. Think before you click and if you feel something isn’t right in the workplace, reach out to cyber security.

For more information, please contact ITD Communication Manager Vincent Trimboli at 208.334.8817.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New signs at Lewiston port signal big money and time savings

POE Bypass

Drivers traveling in the Lewiston area in the last month may have noticed some new signs near the Port of Entry along US-95. The signs are the most visible indication of significant money and time savings for commercial drivers.

The new signs are part of an updated system designed to improve the mobility of freight in the area, save time on the road, safeguard taxpayer money and support economic opportunity in the region. Signs are now used to signal commercial rigs to bypass the port if the truck’s weight, height, length, safety rating and credentials are in adherence with the law.

Highway sensors verify the criteria above prior to trucks reaching the port so that flashing signs can alert drivers if they may continue or need to stop.

Recent improvements cost $750,000 but are expected to save much more.

The updated weigh-in-motion system is expected to allow up to 70 percent of commercial traffic heading out of the city and another 50 percent heading into the city to bypass the port just south of town.

Trucks that can bypass a port save an average of five minutes of time per incident and almost a half a gallon of fuel. This amounts to a savings of about $8.68 per bypass, according to an analysis of these systems by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Approximately 800 commercial trucks access the Lewiston area every day, meaning improvements at this port alone will save the trucking industry more than $900,000 this year.

Last year, commercial trucks using similar systems to bypass four Idaho ports saved the trucking industry $3.475 million.

“This technology saves our commercial drivers significant time and money, especially for local drivers who pass through the port three to four times on a normal day,” said Ron Morgan, the supervisor of the Lewiston ports.

Vehicles that bypass also benefit the state and other drivers by reducing congestion around weigh stations and enabling inspectors to focus their efforts on other carriers.

“The recent updates to the system reflect the department’s commitment to building a transportation system that supports economic opportunity and mobility in the area,” Morgan said.

ITD Office of Highway Safety launches SHIFT Idaho engaged-driving campaign

Whether it’s a drive around the block or a trip across the state, there is no shortage of distractions to take your mind off the road. To help Idahoans stay focused on the drive, ITD’s Office of Highway Safety is launching a new engaged-driving program called SHIFT.

The idea behind engaged driving is to create an opportunity for Idahoans to start thinking and talking about what’s appropriate behind the wheel and in the passenger’s seat. SHIFT is a program designed to help share techniques and strategies to reduce distractions and grow driver engagement.

“A distraction is anything that takes your mind away from the road,” said Highway Safety Manager John Tomlinson. “There are obvious distractions and others we may not even recognize – but we all know what it means to be engaged and we really want to highlight those behaviors.”

This approach is based on the concept of Positive Culture Framework, a system that promotes health and safety by building on shared values, beliefs and attitudes.

“Most people in Idaho are doing the right thing,” said Tomlinson. “SHIFT is our opportunity to grow those good behaviors and make our roads safer.”

Unlike traditional highway safety campaigns, SHIFT combines efforts to reach drivers directly through different media with workplace engagement. A pilot program is currently underway to develop a toolkit to help teach employers how to talk to their employees about engaged driving. The pilot sites will test different tools and review workplace distracted driving policies to see what can be done to impact driver behavior.

“We feel the right combination of policy, education and reinforcement at the workplace can help us move the needle,” Tomlinson said. “We really believe this layered approach will help us create safer roads and a safer Idaho.”
To learn more about the program, visit shift-idaho.org

Extension continues use of driver’s license at security checkpoints

Star Card Sample Image

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue to allow the use of current Idaho driver’s licenses and identification cards at federal security checkpoints, such as courthouses, military bases and airport TSA screenings.

Star Card Logo

DHS is beginning to enforce compliance of minimum security standards for credentials created by the REAL ID Act. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will begin issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards in early 2018. These will be called Star Cards.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020 DHS will require REAL ID-compliant credentials for security checks. Compliant credentials include a Star Card driver’s license or ID, a passport, or military ID – to name just a few. Between now and the Oct. 1 deadline, Idahoans can continue to use their current Idaho driver’s license or ID at security checks.

Getting a Star Card is not mandatory, but it (or another compliant credential) will be required to get through security at airports, courthouses, and military bases. More information about the Star Card can be found at itd.idaho.gov/starcard.

Obtaining a Star Card will require additional documentation. ITD has developed a helpful “Add the Star” tool online the public can use to find out their options.

For a full list of compliant credentials, visit the TSA website at tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

Idaho weigh-in-motion systems saved trucking industry 33,000 hours and $3.5 million in last year

Weigh-in-motion (WIM) systems like the one installed in February at the Inkom Port of Entry (POE) in southeast Idaho save the trucking industry huge chunks of time and money.

Trucks bypassing the port save an average of five minutes of time per incident, and almost a half a gallon of fuel. This amounts to a savings of about $8.68 per bypass. Commercial trucks using WIM to bypass Idaho ports saved 33,365 hours and more than 16,000 gallons of fuel in the last year.

There are four Idaho locations with WIM. From July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017, the impact was:

Huetter POE (Northern Idaho): 58,356 vehicle bypasses; savings = $506,530
Lewiston POE (North-Central Idaho): 89,049 vehicle bypasses; savings = $772,945
East Boise POE (Southwest Idaho): 247,378 vehicle bypasses; savings = $2,147,241
Inkom POE (Southeast Idaho): 5,600 vehicle bypasses (June only); savings = $48,608
TOTAL # of BYPASSES = 400,383; SAVINGS = $3.475 million

“These projects are an outstanding example of how the department is meeting its mission to improve safety, mobility and economic opportunity for Idaho and the nation,” Reymundo Rodriguez, DMV Compliance Manager, said.

The system allows commercial trucks that meet state size and weight limits to bypass weigh stations at highway speeds. An estimated 50 to 60 percent of commercial truck traffic will be able to bypass the ports.

Vehicles bypassing Ports of Entry facilities save drivers and companies valuable time on the road, reducing fuel and operating costs while increasing productivity. Vehicles that bypass also benefit the state and everyone who uses the highways by reducing congestion around weigh stations and enabling inspectors at the port to focus their efforts on carriers that demand the most attention.

Gonzalez takes reins as new Idaho DMV Administrator July 2

Alberto Gonzalez, the current DMV Modernization Manager, has been selected as the new Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Administrator. His first day will be July 2.

Gonzalez takes over a division of more than 200 people. DMV operates a broad spectrum of services throughout Idaho from headquarters and county staff, as well as Ports of Entry and Motor Vehicle Investigators.

Gonzalez takes over for Alan Frew, who has been DMV Administrator since 2006 but will be retiring July 1.

“I am excited to follow Alan Frew. One of his greatest strengths was the investment in the lives of his employees, and that’s something I want to build on,” said Gonzalez. “Alan also was a champion of great customer service — another legacy we will continue and grow.”

“We had several extremely qualified internal applicants for this position – which speaks to the level of talented individuals we have at ITD,” said Chief Deputy Director Scott Stokes. “We chose Alberto because of his experience in managing operations, developing winning teams, his ability to understand policy and processes that increase customer service and productivity.”

A veteran of managing people and programs, his service includes a great balance in both the public and private sector.  He has 13 years in the private sector and 10 in public service.

Gonzalez said one of the biggest opportunities is further strengthening DMV’s relationship with the counties.

“We need to strengthen the support we provide the counties, including better communication, training, process improvements, system reliability and really build trust with the county offices,” said Gonzalez. “They’re the face of DMV, that’s the relationship we need to improve the most. We need to make it a more unified standard statewide operation – consistent across the state including headquarters.”

Gonzalez will continue to build upon the DMV reorganization that started last year. He said DMV has an opportunity to develop an even more highly skilled work force that can lend customer’s assistance and expertise across the spectrum of business.

“Much of the change that has occurred over the past year is a direct reflection of DMV employee’s ideas and innovations, and their continued engagement is essential as we move the organization forward,” Gonzalez said. “I look forward to working with the DMV employees and learning from them. We have an opportunity to truly be the model government organization that the public and other government agencies look up to, depend on and trust.”