Progress of Alabama’s new driver license system, LEADS
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In April 2022, state leaders rolled out the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Driver License System (LEADS). The new system provides a variety of online services for Alabama residents, and was supposed to cut down on long wait times you deal with at the license office.
Although lines are still persist at some locations in the state, ALEA License Division Chief Jon Archer said the system is running smoothly, and making a difference. Archer said the numbers speak for themselves.
The license division is now servicing thousands of customers a day, either in-person or online. Also, since the new system rolled out in April, ALEA license offices have issued roughly 450,000 credentials to Alabama residents. That number includes new licenses, renewals, as well as non-driver identification cards. Archer said this has all been made possible thanks to the new online system. For now, he said the goal is to hire and train more employees.
“We are doing our best to push as many customers through, especially in the Huntsville/Madison market,” Archer said. “That is a booming area for the state of Alabama. We are continuously addressing that, and trying to add staff where we can. But we always have to remind folks, I can’t simply just hire someone and immediately put them to work. They have to be trained. It takes time for that.”
Remember, many tasks you used to have to get done in-person, such as renewing your license, you can now do from your phone or laptop.
Unfortunately, though, not everyone is aware of the new system and may be going to an office when they don’t need to. After all, one primary goal of the LEADS program is to save people time and travel. Archer believes more people should take advantage of the new online services.
There are a few key changes that you should know about, especially if you want to avoid sitting in a waiting room on your day off of work.
You can now renew your license online, update your address online, even pay or reinstate your license online. These options were not available under the old system that had been in place for almost 20 years. Also, if you are new to the area and need to pre-apply for an Alabama license, you can now do that online!
Before your next visit to a license office, Archer encourages you to visit alea.gov, and hopefully save yourself a long day of waiting in line.
“There is a lot of information there, a lot of the answers to the questions the public have are there,” Archer said. “We will do our best to continue to try and shorten lines and staff up where we can. But Huntsville is just growing by leaps and bounds, so it is a challenge.”
Other online services available:
- 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
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