Missouri Changing How Residents Receive Drivers Licenses

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri residents applying for a new drivers license may notice some differences from the past. Not only does the actual license look different, but drivers no longer leave the licensing office with their new ID. 

"You won't walk out of the drivers license office immediately with it, you'll get a temporary license," said Missouri Department of Revenue communications director Ted Farnen.

The IDs are made in a factory in Georgia instead of the licensing office and residents receive the new ID in the mail seven to ten business days after applying. Before getting the new ID in the mail, residents use a temporary, paper ID. Farnen said the change is part of an effort to curb fraud. 

"We are doing this to try and combat those people who try and abuse the system," said Farnen. He said mailing IDs to residents ensures that they live where they say they live.

Farnen also said he was not concerned about outsourcing the work to another state. He said he does not predict job cuts in the state, but ultimately jobs are up to the independently owned licensing offices.

Farnen said the cost to actually make the ID will go down by using the new method. However, that extra money will go toward postage costs. Farnen said that will result in a slight increase in the total production costs of the IDs, but that cost will not be passed on to the consumer. 

"For the department there might be a slight increase of cost but like I said, there are different things that counter that cost," said Farnen.

Even though the costs will not be passed on to residents, not all Missourians are pleased about the change.

"It's a little weird, as far as getting it. I don't like it that much, I would prefer just getting a regular card," said Jefferson City resident Erick Standlee.

Farnen said about 50 of the licensing offices in the state have already switched to the new method. He said the department plans for all 180 offices to mail IDs by April of this year. The Columbia licensing office has not switched to the new method yet, but the Jefferson City office has. 

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