Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/994293

Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 18, 2014

Bill would update renewals

By Xiomara Levsen | Apr 26, 2013

If Iowa House File 355 passes, it would allow Iowa drivers to renew their driver licenses electronically.
This would change the Iowa Department of Transportation’s (DOT) current requirement, which has drivers go into a county treasurer’s office or DOT office to renew their license every five years between the ages of 18 and 70, the DOT’s Web site said.
“This bill provides that when the department renews a driver’s license electronically, it may do so without requiring the licensee to pass a vision test or file a vision report, pursuant to rules of the department,” House File 355 said.
The bill also proposes making the renewal change effective immediately and not on July 1.
Washington County Treasurer Jeff Garrett knows there would be an impact if the bill passes.
“It will impact the county to a certain extent,” Garrett said. “Right now we receive $7 for every license we issue and if these customers aren’t going to come to our office to do them then obviously we won’t receive that $7.”
It would also affect the number of people coming into the office.
“It will make a difference eventually on the amount of people that come in,” Garrett said. “I think that’s a good thing for people to be able to go online and just do it.”
Currently, the bill is in negotiations between the Senate and the House. There are several things that are being proposed as amendments to the bill.
“The Iowa Senate has proposed amending the bill to stipulate drivers go to a designated office every other renewal period,” Garrett said. “This is so we could keep a hand on the vision screening process.”
Also, the length between renewals would be changed. It would go up from five to eight years, Garrett said.
There are certain things drivers can do online already.
“You can look at your driving record and you can change your address,” Garrett said. “They even have a place for CDL drivers who have to provide a medical card. There’s even a place to tell them (CDL drivers) if they have to file a medical card.”
He thinks the DOT would use their current Web site to integrate the driver’s license renewal process.
“That’s kind of been their overall plan,” he said. “To have these things available in one location online.”
Photos would be used from the last renewal you had done in the office, he said.

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