March 23, 2010

Driver's license kiosk successful in Hattiesburg

New drivers license renewal kiosks in Hattiesburg. Incorporate drivers license reader from E-Seek, video camera, and signature pad. Nice pictures of unit and interface screen.

Driver's license kiosk successful in Hattiesburg | | Hattiesburg American

Richard Dejuan recently went to renew his driver's license and anticipated the same frustration with the renewal process that he had in the past.

Instead of the stereotypical lengthy wait to renew his driver's license at the testing office on J.M. Tatum Industrial Drive, Dejuan received a bit of a surprise.

Dejuan, of Hattiesburg, was walked through the steps to renew his license at an automated driver's license renewal kiosk.

Dejuan swiped his credit card and then his driver's license. He entered some information, stepped back and stood in front of the hanging blue screen and posed for two photos.

Dejuan received a receipt with his temporary license printed on it.

"I think it's great," Dejuan said about the renewal process.

"I was expecting a long wait as usual, but that took less than five minutes."

Dejuan said he has come to the Department of Motor Vehicles' office several times in the past and left because he was sent home at closing time.

"I think it's a blessing for people who need to renew their licenses," Dejuan said.

The majority of the public agrees with Dejuan, said Maj. Jason Jennings, director of driver services for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

"The kiosks have been greatly accepted by the public," Jennings said. "They are quick, efficient and the public loves them."

A person can be no younger than 16 years, 10 months, and they cannot be older than 75 to be eligible to renew their license at the kiosk.

Use of the kiosk is $3 more than the traditional route, and the total fee through the kiosk must be paid with a credit or debit card bearing either the Visa or MasterCard logos, Jennings said.

A person must live at the physical address on the license because that is where the permanent license will be mailed, Jennings said.

Also, a check is run on the license in a nationwide database to guarantee there are no fines owed, Jennings said. A temporary license, good for 14 days, is printed at the end of the renewal process and the permanent license is mailed from Jackson within three to five days.

"The license is considered renewed the day the process is done, but we have to wait until the next day to print and mail them," Jennings said. "It's the same process as the Internet renewal."

Jennings said precautions were installed to help prevent the possibility of fraud during the license renewal process at one of the kiosks.

The kiosk takes a picture and compares it to the old photo on the previous license using facial recognition technology, Jennings said.

Also, personal information, such as the last four digits of a Social Security number, are also required.

"And it all happens fairly quickly," Jennings said. "Usually in under five minutes."

The kiosks were installed in December in seven locations throughout the state, Jennings said, one each in Hattiesburg, Tupelo, Olive Branch, Gulfport and D'Iberville, and two in Jackson.

Officials say they are planning to add more throughout the state.

"It seems to me that 100 would not be an unreasonable number," Public Safety Commissioner Steve Simpson told The Clarion-Ledger recently. "Each of the DMV sites would have one, though the ones in heavily populated areas could have two or more."

Jennings said the plan is to have them in areas outside the Department of Public Safety's brick and mortar buildings.

"Areas such as student unions, police and sheriff's departments - things of that nature," Jennings said.

Posted by staff at March 23, 2010 09:17 AM