Some Vermonters seeing long waits for driver's licenses

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) We are digging into complaints about Vermont's new driver's license system.

Starting this summer, instead of having your ID printed at the DMV, you get a paper copy and the final one is mailed to you. It's supposed to take 7-10 business days but some of you told us it's taken a month or more.

Our Ike Bendavid went to Montpelier to find out why.

"It's a piece of paper. It really is," said Virginia Morgan, holding her temporary driver's license.

Morgan knew her official one would be coming in the mail. But until she showed WCAX News her paper copy, she didn't realize she's been waiting so long for her new one to arrive that her temporary one had expired!

"Holy Cow!" she said.

And Morgan isn't the only one. We started to look at this after we heard from many of you saying it was taking over a month to get your license. So we went to the DMV to get some answers.

"You are hearing isolated incidents," Vermont DMV Commissioner Wanda Minoli told us.

All the senior staff involved in the rollout at the DMV were out of state at a conference. But we were able to speak to them on the phone. Minoli and director of operations Michael Smith said the new system started last month had a bit of a rough start, but they're working through the bugs.

"There has been some issues with the data making it there and that has been addressed," Minoli said.

They said they issue 15,000-18,000 licenses a month. Most of them go without a hitch. And many of the people we spoke with said while they would prefer to get their license right away, it's not an issue.

"It would be nice but it's not the biggest deal," said Aaron Locker of Warren.

"It's something I have to do so I'm doing it," said James Meade of Waterbury.

And there are some benefits that the state feels make the switch worth the hassle for their department and you, like extra security features on licenses. And in the long run, a more efficient system might even lead to a quicker trip to the DMV since they don't rely on their printers anymore.

"In our prior printing system where we were printing licenses over the counter, our number one cause of downtime was the printers," Smith said.

Morgan says has waited over a month and she doesn't mind, as long as she won't get in trouble if she's pulled over.

"I'm not easily frustrated," she said.

We asked for numbers on how many people's licenses have been delayed. The DMV couldn't get us those before this story was published but told us they will have them Wednesday. We'll update you when we get them.

If you're having issues, they want you to contact them. You can call them at 802-828-2000 or 888-998-3766. Or you can email them at DMV.InformationUnit@vermont.gov.