MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is sending out a new push to get people to renew their driver’s licenses online instead of standing in line at the probate office. The online renewal process has been in place since 2015. ALEA says it was designed to speed up the process for everyone, but not enough people are taking advantage of it.
“You gotta think, if you’re going to a local driver’s license office, you’re going to be there a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many people are there,” said Cpl. Jesse Thornton. “If people will utilize the online services, it’ll obviously cut down on any waiting period they may have to experience at any drivers license offices or probate offices.”
The process online is quick and easy.
“Just go to our website, www.alea.gov, and you can click on this driver’s license link,” Cpl. Thornton said. “It’s going to give you a little bit of information there. Click on a few buttons and it asks you some easy questions like what type of license you’re renewing, it asks for some identification information, your license number, date of birth, social, just go through the system and it literally takes minutes.”
You will need access to a printer if you renew your driver's license online.
“You can actually print that temporary license off just like you would get a temporary copy when you went o the drivers license office, and a hard copy will be mailed to you in a few weeks,” he said.
Thornton said if you really want to go high tech, “you can download a digital copy of your license to your smartphone as well.”
Even if you don't have internet access at home, you can still avoid the line.
“We also have self-serve kiosks in our drivers license offices to where if people don’t have internet option at home, they can actually go to our drivers license office, and they can renew them at that kiosk without ever having to be served at that driver license office,” Thornton said.
According to ALEA, it's a win-win for drivers and the driver's license office.
“It also helps with our staffing needs because we’re not having to serve as many of the general public,” Thornton said.
If you need to change your address, change any restrictions or classifications, or re-instate a suspended license, or if you're getting a license for the first time, you WILL have to do that in person. In those cases, ALEA recommends going online to make an appointment so you can avoid the line.
Also, there is a small convenience fee when you renew online. It's less than three dollars more than you'll pay if you stand in line.
You can renew your drivers license within 180 days BEFORE it expires, so you don't have to wait until the last minute to get a new one.