We know that residents of Ada County who need to get or renew their Driver’s License or State ID have had to endure long lines and wait times at our Benjamin Lane office since late summer.
It’s been very frustrating for our staff as well. There is nothing we’d like better than to get our Driver’s License customers in and out in a reasonable amount of time.
So we are thrilled that the Idaho Transportation Department is going to allow people who need to renew their Driver’s License or State ID over the next few months to do so by mail.
So that means if your license or ID is set to expire in November or December, or if you had to get an extension of your credentials through Oct. 31 because you hadn’t been able to renew, you can now do that by mail and avoid the lines.
The ITD has been exploring solutions to provide relief to Idahoans who need to get or renew a license or ID – and the county sheriff’s offices that provides the service — since computer system issues forced offices to close for several days in August.
Since then, the wait times have been significant. We’ve had a backlog of customers, and the computer system has been slower — a combination that has resulted in wait times that can exceed an hour or more.
So being able to renew your driver’s license by mail is excellent news for people who want to avoid lines.
The ITD plan is to allow the mail-in renewals through the end of December.
You should know what you can’t get the Star Card, Idaho’s Real ID, with the mail-in renewal. People who want a Star Card must present the documents in person at the Benjamin Lane office to meet federal requirements.
Also, people who need to renew their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can’t do it by mail. You have to renew in person at the Benjamin Lane office.
The ITD estimates it will be able to process the mail-in renewals in 12-to-14 business days once they arrive.
There are some other restrictions to the mail-in option you should know about, like how you can only get a four-year renewal; your driving credential must be valid; you must be between the ages of 18-and-69; and you haven’t changed your name.
If you want a new photo, you have to renew in person.
The ITD will send a letter to everyone whose license expires in November and December, letting them know about the mail-in option. Go here to print out a copy of the letter to apply for the mail-in option.
You should also know that you can schedule an appointment time for the Benjamin Lane office online. Please be aware that appointments are mostly booked through mid-December.
We realize the long lines at our Driver’s License Office have been a problem for our citizens, and we hope the mail-in option will release some of the pressure.
For more info from the ITD, check out https://itd.idaho.gov/news/dmv-to-offer-mail-in-renewals-for-drivers-licenses-that-expire-in-november-and-december/