Motorists get extension on license, plate renewals

Despite the state extending the deadline for renewals of licenses and registrations to January 2021, lines at the local DMV have remained longer than usual.

Idahoans now have more time to renew their vehicle registrations and licenses thanks to an extension issued by the Idaho Transportation Department.

Residents who have non-commercial vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses that are set to expire between September and December 2020 now have until January 31, 2021 to renew those items.

The extension is due to delays being caused by the implementation of the ITD’s fourth phase of the state’s modernization project which started in mid-October.

The increase in backlog is not only due to the implementation of new computer systems at the DMV but also from delays caused by COVID.

Benewah County Assessor, Donna Spier, said that the transportation department has been operating with the new system and taking customers for two weeks and that her employees are still getting a hang of the new system.

She said that registration renewals have been the fastest things to handle but title work has been a factor that is making lines grow longer at the courthouse.

“Registrations are pretty easy it’s the title work that we are having issues with,” Ms. Spier said. “A lot of people are mailing in their renewals and doing it online as well and we prefer doing your renewals that way.”

She said that the influx of title work may be reduced as vehicle dealerships have been given permission to give temporary registration that lasts 30 days. Ms. Spier said that the issue is whether or not dealerships decide to give buyers that extension.

“You can get a 30-day temporary from dealerships, it just depends if they do it or not,” Ms. Spier said.

Ms. Spier expressed concerns for how the DMV will operate moving forward. She said that there is a chance the licensing office may not return to its normal hours.

“We will have our short hours for the rest of this month,” Ms. Spier said.

She said that the hours may stay shorter in order to allow for the department to get caught up on their work. Currently they are open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The DMV is closed on Tuesdays.

“We are having to shorten those hours because of all the extra stuff that has been pushed over to the county,” Ms. Spier said.

For more information contact the the Benewah County Assessors office at 208-245-3212.

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