Issuance of Enhanced Florida Driver License To Begin
CONTACT: Robert Sanchez
Public Information Administrator
June 18, 2004
TALLAHASSEE: Typically, Florida motorists who renew their driver license or change the address on their license via the mail, the telephone, or the Internet receive a new license in the mail shortly thereafter. This “central issuance” process is also used for non-U.S. citizens who go to a driver license office to obtain or renew a license. These motorists receive a 30-day permit to drive while their background documents are verified prior to being issued a license that they receive in the mail.
Beginning next week, all of these central issuance customers will begin receiving Florida’s newly redesigned driver license with a distinctly different look designed to deter identity theft, counterfeiting, and other kinds of fraud. The central issuance process’s switch to the newly enhanced driver license is the initial step in a multi-phased conversion program. By the end of the year, the department will be converting all local field offices statewide and equipping them to issue the new license and ID card.
Pending its conversion to the new system, each office will continue issuing licenses in the current format. In addition, drivers for whom the department does not yet have a digital photograph will continue to receive stickers to affix to the back of their current license.
The conversions to the new system entail replacing virtually all of each office’s license processing equipment, so most of the work will be done when the offices are closed. As a result, disruptions to customer service are expected to be kept to a minimum.
Moreover, once each office’s conversion is complete, customer service will be enhanced because the new licenses are produced on state-of-the-art equipment that speeds up issuances and reduces “down-time.” The new system also enhances each office’s ability to safeguard sensitive information and maintain strict control over its inventory.
The license enhancements are the result of a five-year contract with Digimarc ID Systems Inc. that Gov. Jeb Bush and the state Cabinet approved last August 12. To keep up with rapid changes in technology, the contract provides for updating the system with new hardware and software when it comes up for renewal after five years.
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