Temporary closure of Alabama driver license offices

Offices statewide will close for one week starting April 18 so the new LEADS program can be installed.
WAFF's Kellie Miller reporting
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 10:52 AM CST|Updated: Apr. 15, 2022 at 6:44 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama is getting a new, modernized driver license system known as the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Driver License System (LEADS).

“This one system is going to do the job of about eight other systems, so we are very excited about it,” said ALEA Senior Trooper Brandon Bailey. “It’s going to be user friendly, and it’s going to be a lot more convenient.”

Driver license offices statewide will be closed starting Monday, April 18. Offices are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, April 26. New equipment, cameras, scanners and more will be installed during the week-long closure.

The current system being used is almost 20 years old, and a lot of the technology is outdated. The hardware in the approximately 76 driver licenses offices statewide must be shut down and replaced.

Bailey said the LEADS system will give citizens access to a variety of online services. In fact, many tasks you currently have to get done in-person, you’ll be able to get done from your laptop. Overall, the new system will reduce wait times at offices and simplify many processes.

“One big thing that I think everybody will be able to enjoy and appreciate is that before coming in, you can pre-register yourself on the actual system and that is going to cut down on wait times tremendously,” Bailey said.

The new system will offer online services including:

  • Ability to update their addresses
  • Ability to pay and reinstate their licenses
  • Ability to upload U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Medical Cards
  • Ability to view Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Hazmat background checks
  • Ability to issue duplicate licenses to eligible foreign nationals
  • Ability to pre-apply for individuals who are requesting an Alabama License for the first time

(Alabama Law Enforcement Agency)

“This is going to be something that is going to be great for everybody,” Bailey said. “One option that you have, if you have any questions about the system as a whole and what to do, you can always visit alea.gov. Or when you go into a driver license office, some of the examiners will be more than happy to educate you and show you about the process. But we are here for the community any way we need to be here to make sure everybody understands this system.”

Neither in-person nor online services will be available during the statewide closure from April 18 through April 26. However, road tests will continue.

Gov. Ivey released this statement with the news of the release:

This new system will consolidate multiple legacy systems into one integrated, modern system to further protect our citizens’ data and enhance customer service. I am proud of ALEA’s dedication to complete this crucial and extensive task to positively impact all citizens.

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Hal Taylor also released a statement on the planned upgrade:

LEADS is a tangible example of ALEA’s continued focus on improving customer service, communication and technology to effectively achieve the Agency’s mission of providing quality service for all. We are excited to join Governor Ivey in this announcement, and we would like to thank her and all members of the Legislature for continuously supporting our Agency and providing us with the necessary resources to complete such a monumental and historic project for the state of Alabama.

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