DMV begins program to mail driver licenses, ID cards

DMV beginning Tuesday, June 13, will phase-in a new program to mail driver licenses and ID cards to customers renewing them or applying for a new one. The agency also will introduce a new design for these credentials as part of a continuing effort to help prevent identity theft.

No longer will licenses and ID cards be handed to someone in the office. More than 25 states nationally now mail these credentials. Although residents still must appear at a DMV or AAA office to renew or apply for them, customers will be given a temporary paper card until the permanent card arrives in the mail.

The program, called Central Issuance, involves mailing permanent license and ID cards from a secure facility and is required under the federal Real ID Act. The phase-in of the program will begin with the Willimantic Branch office and continue during the next month at other DMV and at AAA offices, which also provide license and ID card services. The new design for licenses and IDs will include several new and upgraded security features.

“Come into DMV at least a week before your birthday, or even sooner, so that the new card arrives in your mailbox before the old one expires,” said DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra.

Here are key highlights of the program:

  • It will reduce how long license customers spend in offices. Customers should renew at least a week or more before their birthday to allow time for the permanent card to be mailed before the old one expires. DMV returns to the customer the expiring Connecticut license or ID card and also issues a temporary paper card, which is a copy of the new license or ID.

  • The new one should arrive in the mail within 20 days after renewing or getting a new license or ID.

  • The chief security benefits include reducing the risk of counterfeit licenses and ID cards by having tight controls over materials in a central facility that meets high-quality federal and state standards. This enhances the security of customer identities and reduces opportunity for identity theft.

  • Customers in the next phase will have the opportunity for a time-saving and wait-time reducing option to “skip a trip” by renewing these credentials online one time before going to DMV again.

  • In the next phase customers also will be able to use the DMV website to reprint the temporary paper card or replace a lost license or ID online.

DMV's long-time license vendor, MorphoTrust, has managed the current system since 2002 and will oversee the mailing to customers.