Earlier this month the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) began exclusively mailing driver’s licenses and identification cards to customers in an effort to combat identity fraud.
Those obtaining or renewing a license will still have to drop by a DMV office to get their picture taken; however, no licenses or IDs will be handed out on location. Instead, customers will receive a temporary paper copy of their ID while the legitimate card is mailed within 20 days of application. The 2- to 3-week waiting period allows the DMV time to authenticate each applicant’s identity.
In addition to the by-mail delivery, new IDs will also be redesigned with upgraded security features, according to the CT DMV.
The change—labeled Central Issuance—began at the Willimantic office and should spread statewide within the month. This program is a result of the federal REAL ID Act. Since 2005, REAL ID has required states to comply with federal minimum-security standards.
“It’s all coming from a central secure facility,” explained CT DMV Commissioner Michael Bzydra. “Another method of making sure all the materials are in a secure location to prevent fraud and identity theft.”
"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. [Central Issuance] enhances the security of customer identities and reduces opportunity for identity theft,” the DMV stated in its release.
In conjunction with ensuring the security of customers’ identities, officials with both the DMV and the State of Connecticut hope the program will also cut down waiting time at the DMV office—and in the future, the DMV hopes to permit customer access to online renewal and/or replacement options. Drivers would be able to skip a trip altogether by reviewing application credentials on the DMV website and printing their temporary license at home.