August 13, 2010

DMV Renewal Kiosks in MS

Corrected version of DMV kiosks from L-1 being deployed for Mississippi. Includes photo.

Official touts renewal kiosks | | Hattiesburg American

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Simpson said he's glad Mississippi is finally first in something good.

Simpson is talking about the state's new automated driver's license renewal system which now has 24 kiosks in license renewal sites around the state. The kiosks are designed to save Mississippians from "what has historically been a long, long line," he noted.

The automated system is the first of its kind in the U.S., and includes units in Hattiesburg and Laurel.

"We're thrilled to be the first in the country for a change, and there's about 30 states clamoring to get them."


Users of the new kiosks aged 17 to 75 can insert their old licenses - whether expired or not - into the machine. The system asks for the last four digits of a user's Social Security number, then matches the user to the file in the state database.

The kiosk then re-takes the user's photo, and matches the new photo to the old photo using facial recognition software. If the photos don't match, then the machine stops the transaction.

If the person trying to renew his or her license matches the face on the old license, the machine then takes a credit or debit card payment and prints a receipt usable as a license.

The receipt includes the new photo and all the bar codes from a standard driver's license card. A new license is printed in Jackson and should then reach the user in about two days, Simpson explained.

Simpson stressed the security of the system, noting that each kiosk stores no identification information about any user, and touting the accuracy of the facial-recognition software.

L-1 Identity Solutions in Billerica, Mass., developed the system for the state.

"The state of Mississippi did not invest one dime," Simpson said, adding that L-1 researched, developed, manufactured and are now maintaining the units.

This tax spending relief comes with a $3 price tag to users of the kiosk.

Simpson said of the 600,000 license renewals statewide this year, about 20 percent of renewals from locations with kiosks.

The state hopes to add more machines during the next six to nine months, bringing the total number up to about 100. Simpson said the plan also includes putting the machines in other public places, such as shopping malls, university union buildings and airports.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Director of Driver Services Jason Jennings said he hopes the system will streamline operations at each driver's license renewal site.

"What it does and we hope it continues to do even more is take the routine transactions away from the examiners so they can spend more time doing things they need to do - give examinations and verify documents and things of that nature," he said. "It's not going to replace any examiners, it's just going to allow them to do a better job at what they need to do."

Drivers can already avoid the "long, long lines" by renewing licenses at

Editor's note: This is a corrected version of the story.

Posted by staff at August 13, 2010 10:39 AM