End Is Near for License Backlog

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The California Department of Motor Vehicles expects to have the delays created by its newly redesigned licenses cleared up in the next few weeks.

    New security features designed to help prevent fraud and counterfeiting of California driver licenses caused a backlog of renewals.

    DMV spokesperson Steve Haskins said more than 250,000 residents had been impacted by the delays since the new design was implemented in October 2010.

    Some residents have reported waiting more than two months for their new cards.

    L1 Identity Solutions received a five-year $62.8 million contract from the DMV and DMV spokesman Michael Marando said there have been some "production issues."

    Licenses include enhancements such as a laser perforation outline of the California Brown Bear, laser-engraved signatures, new bar codes that verify information on the license, and special images that can be seen only with the use of ultraviolet light.

    Marando said the new licenses have to be absolutely perfect and if there's "so much as an ink smudge" in the production process, the DMV will send it back to be fixed.

    Approximately 90 percent of the new style of cards has been delivered within 4 to 6 weeks, according to a DMV news release issued Feb. 25.

    "L-1 is currently in the process of reviewing and analyzing the primary problems with the card production factory, has increased its quality control staff, and has purchased equipment necessary for the DMV to augment its ability to inspect and mail cards faster," the release stated.

    Haskins said it is not clear how many Californians are still waiting for their licenses but he said it appears the problem should be fixed by the end of March.

    If you're still waiting, your best bet is to send the DMV an email, according to Haskins.

    "Somebody does indeed get back to you via email within 24 hours," he said.

    Customers who have experienced delays of six weeks or longer can e-mail the DMV at LODDLIDSP@dmv.ca.gov or call (800) 777-0133.

    Customers should provide the following: full name, date of renewal, and any two of the following: street address, driver license number, or date of birth. Also include a best telephone number or email in which to contact you.

    Another development from the DMV Monday, temporary paper licenses previously valid for 60 days will be extended to 90 days.

    In a statement, the DMV said any inconvenienced customers could apply for a temporary license in person or by mail. Customers who renewed their licenses online or through the mail will have their driving records updated within one week of receipt.