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May 25, 2015

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High-security driver’s license system coming to DMV

Despite early glitch, system a go for early November

Click to enlarge photo

Back of the new Nevada driver's license.

A minor glitch in the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicle's new high-security system for issuing driver's licenses shouldn't impact the system's planned rollout next month, officials said.

The new system still requires drivers to apply in person at a DMV office and have their picture taken, but changes after that. Instead of receiving a license on the spot within minutes, the new licenses will be manufactured at a central plant in Lacey, Wash., and mailed to drivers within seven to 10 days.

The central issuance system, which debuted Oct. 17 in Carson City, encountered problems on its first day when the information and photos taken for that day's licenses failed to transmit to the plant in Washington.

"The system didn't recognize them," DMV spokesman Kevin Malone said. "Nothing is lost; we have all of the applications and the photos on the computers still. It's just a matter of figuring out the bug that prevented them from transmitting and fixing it."

Malone said the glitch was believed to be simple and likely would not take more than a day or two to fix. He said the new system is still planned to launch at DMV offices in Las Vegas and Henderson on Nov. 6 and 7.

The new central issuance system will incorporate technology such as laser perforations and ghost images to make Nevada licenses among the most secure in the nation.

"The card itself — it's much harder to try to counterfeit," Malone said. "Once you see one of these things, you'll see what we're talking about … It's not like any card you've ever seen."

The new licenses will not require drivers to make an extra trip to the DMV; existing licenses will remain valid until the expiration date printed on them.

The security features being added to the new licenses will increase their cost by 75 cents each, from $21.25 to $22 for drivers younger than 65 and from $16.25 to $17 for drivers 65 and older.

Jeremy Twitchell can be reached at 990-8928 or jeremy.twitchell@hbcpub.com.

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