Reminder: Drive Insured! Insure your vehicle or lose your registration

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

A reminder to Idaho vehicle owners, drive insured or lose your registration.

Under Idaho law, vehicle owners without insurance coverage for two consecutive months risk having their registration suspended by the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles.

The Drive Insured law (Idaho Code 49-1234) was passed during the 2019 Idaho legislative session, and went into effect in January 2020. As part of the DMV’s efforts to help Idahoans through the unprecedented COVID-19 emergency, implementation was initially delayed.

The DMV receives data from licensed Idaho insurance companies identifying vehicles with coverage. Owners without coverage for two consecutive months will receive a warning letter, then have 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.

Impacted drivers should expect warning letters in the mail this October, though at any time, the DMV encourages Idahoans to use the Drive Insured self-reporting tool at driveinsured.itd.idaho.gov. This tool allows drivers to verify the DMV has a record of their insurance, report a change in their insurance situation, or file an exemption. While insurance companies are required by law to provide this data, some fail to do so and it may result in a vehicle incorrectly identified as not having insurance. Using the self-reporting tool is a simple step that can give drivers peace of mind if they are concerned the DMV is not up to date on their current situation.

Please note, county DMV offices are not involved with Drive Insured, and affected vehicle owners cannot report their insurance in-person there. Please use the Idaho DMV’s online self-reporting tool, or call 208.334.8075.

Some vehicles are exempt from this statute. The law applies only to non-commercial vehicles, and excludes trailers and off-highway vehicles. For a full list of frequently asked questions, visit dmv.idaho.gov and click the Drive Insured heading.

Idaho DMV to update vehicle registration and titling system in October

Idaho’s vehicle registration and titling system will operate on a new computer system this month.

It’s the third phase of the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles’ modernization project, moving from a 1980s mainframe to an updated GEM system. Statewide upgrades are planned over the Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 10-12) to minimize impacts to the public at county DMV offices.

“We anticipate a smooth transition,” DMV Administrator Alberto Gonzalez said. “State and county agents are testing and training now in preparation.”

During the three-day weekend, the Idaho DMV will integrate millions of DMV records into one system, resulting in a “one person, one record” system. Each Idahoan will now have one record with both their driver’s license and vehicle registration/title information on it.

“The one person, one record will reduce transaction times at DMV offices, and help county agents and law enforcement correctly identify Idahoans and vehicle ownership,” Gonzalez said. “It also paves the way to the future, giving us the ability to eventually offer more online services to Idaho drivers.”

The Idaho DMV has provided multiple training opportunities to county DMV offices, both virtually and in-person, and staff in all 44 Idaho counties have experience using the new system. County agents ask for patience and understanding from customers in October, as wait times could be longer while agents become more comfortable processing transactions. Title transactions on Oct. 8-9, prior to the transition, may be delayed several days.

The DMV modernization effort is an ongoing process. The disabled parking placards program was moved to the new system in 2017, and the driver’s license program in 2018. This latest phase transitioning vehicle registration and titling does not depend on a third party vendor.

Some of the DMV’s online services will be temporarily out of service Oct. 7-11 while the transition takes place. Aside from that time, drivers are still encouraged to skip the DMV line, and go online to renew their vehicle registration. For more information and resources visit dmv.idaho.gov or call the DMV Customer Contact Center at 208.334.8000.

ID-55 project between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley to start September 8

ID-55 at Smiths Ferry

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) starts road work on the Idaho Highway 55 safety-enhancement project between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley on September 8.

The public is invited to attend a virtual public meeting on Wednesday, September 2, from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. where ITD representatives will give an overview of the project and take questions. The link to attend will be posted on the project website, itdprojects.org/ID55smithsferry, 15 minutes prior to the meeting.

Work will largely be done in fall, spring and summer months, with construction stopping during the winter. This fall, travelers can expect full closures on the roadway Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to allow for blasting and rock removal.

Motorists can find additional details on road closures and traffic patterns on the project website, and can sign up for email and text updates.

“Our goal with this project is to enhance the safety of this mile-long section of the roadway,” Project Manager Alex Deduck said. “Construction crews will remove about 146,000 tons of rock from the hillside, which we want to do very carefully to not create rockslides or impact the river.”

Crews will work on widening shoulders and straightening the curves of the road. This project will also provide a smoother, safer ride for motorists by adding guardrail.

Motorists should anticipate reduced speeds and lanes reduced to one-way alternating traffic during construction. Seasonal closures and traffic patterns will be as follows:

  • Fall (September – November): One-way alternating traffic controlled by a temporary signal; daytime and nighttime work, seven days a week; full road closures Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Winter (December – Mid-March): No construction expected; all lanes open
  • Spring (Mid-March – Mid-May): One-way alternating traffic controlled by a temporary signal; daytime and nighttime work, seven days a week; full road closures Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Summer (Mid-May – August): One-way alternating traffic controlled by flaggers; daytime and nighttime work, Monday – Friday

The project is expected to be completed by late fall 2022. ITD and the Idaho State Police advise motorists to slow down and pay attention when driving in work zones, where increased speeding fines and other penalties apply. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and dial 5-­1-­1 or visit 511.idaho.gov for information on the state highway or interstate system.

DMV’s COVID-caused backlog reduced by increased use of online services

As COVID-19 continues to impact lives in Idaho, the DMV is one of many divisions at the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) adjusting the way it operates. For several months now, the DMV has turned to its online services to help keep crowd sizes down at county offices.

In March, Governor Little’s stay-home order caused many county DMV offices to close their doors to in-person customers. By May, when DMV offices began to reopen around the state, there was an estimated backlog of 100,000 Idahoans needing a new driver’s license, vehicle registration, or title.

Through it all, ITD’s online DMV services have been available, helping chip away at the backlog and giving Idahoans a safer alternative to getting their DMV business done. Now, the backlog has decreased to an estimated 43,000 driver’s license or ID customers. Because of COVID-19, ITD has also allowed more drivers to benefit from the convenience of using these online services. Through the end of this year, drivers 17 to 75-years-old can renew their license online, and eight year licenses can be renewed online.

The DMV encourages drivers to “skip the DMV line, and go online,” in an effort to reduce wait times for customers in county offices, and slow the spread of COVID-19. With more accessibility, the number of online DMV transactions continues to climb month after month, and more Idahoans than ever are now renewing online.

“We’re excited to see our online transactions increase. Thousands of Idahoans are taking advantage of this fast, easy, and safe way to complete their DMV transactions, and we are thankful they’re helping reduce the backlog at the same time,” said DMV Administrator Alberto Gonzalez. “In February, about 900 people renewed their driver’s license or ID online. In June, that number jumped to more than 8,000.”

Online vehicle registration renewals this summer have also more than doubled since February. For the DMV’s online services and more click here.

Crews successfully slide new I-84 bridge into place

demolition of the blacks creek bridge begins

Normally, bridges moving is not something an engineer wants to see, but this weekend construction crews slid the first of two new bridges at the Interstate 84 Blacks Creek Interchange sixty feet into place — where it will stay for decades to come.

The slide-in-place maneuver was designed to minimize impacts to the heavily traveled Interstate. Crews construct the bulk of the new bridge right next to the existing structure. When ready, the old bridge is demolished and the replacement structure is slid into place.

“The driving force behind choosing a lateral bridge slide method was our focus on the people we serve and their ability to get where they need to go.” said Patrick Kelly, the ITD project manager overseeing the work. “We were able to keep lanes open during the entire bridge construction process. Once it was ready, we closed the eastbound lanes, demolished the old structure, pushed the new bridge into place, and are wrapping up construction on the adjacent roadway. In the end, we will have closed interstate lanes of traffic for weeks rather than months.”

The whole process, from demolition to reopening traffic, will take two to three weeks. Normal bridge replacements can take several months. With the new bridge in place, crews have just a few final items to complete, including work at the bridge abutments and repaving approaches.

To get the bridge from temporary footings to its permanent home, crews lay down Teflon pads and cover them with dish soap. Then, heavy machinery pushes and pulls the structure into place. It’s a surprisingly effective way to reduce friction and easily move the massive structure.

“Seeing how smoothly the bridge slid into place was very satisfying.” said Kelly. “It has been months of planning, preparation, and a lot of hard work to get to this point. The crews from Knife River have done a wonderful job and should be very proud of the work they’ve done.”

This method has been used before in the Gem State when, in 2014, the Lardo Bridge on ID-55 in McCall was replaced. There, as it is at Blacks Creek, the highway is an essential connection and lengthy disruptions are very impactful.

The second bridge for the westbound lanes has been constructed next to the old structure. Crews are currently finishing up the eastbound side of the interchange, including work on ramps and Blacks Creek Road. They will be ready to slide the westbound bridge into place in early August using the same method.

For more information about the project, visit ITDprojects.org/i-84-blacks-creek-interchange/.

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.

Construction of ID-55 improvements in Marsing to impact July 3rd celebrations

Construction in Marsing will impact the July 3 Fireworks Extravaganza

The Idaho Transportation Department is issuing a travel advisory on Idaho Highway 55 near Marsing for July 3, 2019.

Construction to rebuild ID-55 through downtown Marsing and the bridge over the Snake River will impact travel around the City of Marsing’s annual July 3rd Fireworks Extravaganza at Marsing Island Park. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane on the highway north of the bridge and in town. No left-turns will be allowed in town during the event.

The Snake River Bridge is closed to pedestrians and bicyclists. The City of Marsing has arranged for a free shuttle service to and from the event. Please see the event map below for details.

July 3rd Marsing Map

ITD encourages those planning to attend the event consider using U.S. 95 to reach Marsing. Consider carpooling to alleviate congestion as over 5,000 visitors are expected to arrive for the celebration. Plan extra time for the return trip. Please exercise patience and kindness as you leave.

ITD reminds those who will be drinking during the event to make a plan in advance to get home safe. The Department is partnering with law enforcement to increase DUI patrols during the Fourth of July week.