H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Jan 26, 2011 10:13 PM by Ariel Wesler

DMV driver license delays frustrating drivers

It's been a long, rocky road for thousands of Californians who are still waiting to get their driver's license and they are tired of the delays.

The DMV began issuing a newly-designed and more secure driver's license in October. The new cards have special security measures built in, designed to prevent fraud and counterfeiting but the company producing the cards has struggled with some of the new features, causing a major backlog.

Central Coast drivers are seeing major delays, but they're not on the road. They're at the D.M.V.

"The first week of November I made my appointment, said Suzanne Parker. "I still don't have my driver's license."

She recently moved to the area from New Mexico and is just one of many drivers experiencing a long wait for California's new licenses.

"Humankind has advanced to the point that we can get a man to the moon in 3 days but it takes the state of California 14 weeks to get me a driver's license," Parker said.

The cards include many new features including images that can only be seen under ultraviolet light and a raised birth date and signature.

"It's gonna be a good thing. It just takes time," said CHP Officer John Townsen.

There's also a new vertical card for those underage.

"Just looking at it is going to tell you if they're under 21 or not," Townsen said.

In the meantime, Parker requested a temporary license, good for two months, but it does not have her picture on it.

"When I went to the airport over the holidays, I had to present them with several forms of I.D., which just complicates an already complicated process," Parker said.

The process has taken so long. She's on her second temporary license, set to expire in march, but the CHP says they can tell if you're waiting on the new license and won't cite you.

"If you have already taken care of that renewal process, it's going to come back through the DMV and our records as being valid," Townsen said.

The DMV processes more than 30,000 thousand drivers licenses each day and says it is making progress.

Meanwhile, the DMV and CHP both suggest requesting a temporary license and using your expired license as photo ID. The DMV told us anyone renewing as of today should get their card in the next four weeks.

The new design is the first major revision to the California driver's license since 2001.

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