Gray Flannel Dwarf

12/5/2005

NC DMV

5-December-2005

Dear Governor Easley:

I am writing you this letter to bring to your attention to a quality control issue about which you may not be aware, concerning the North Carolina Department of Transportation, specifically the Division of Motor Vehicles.

I am a relatively new resident to the state of North Carolina; I moved to Apex in February of 2005. As expected, I went to the DMV to turn in my old Virginia driver’s license, take the written test, and obtain my new North Carolina license. I received this on February 17th, 2005.

Unfortunately, less than a year later, the license has faded beyond recognition. Anyone looking at this license would be wholly unable to discern that it is me in the photo and my license number has faded to near-illegibility. This, however, is by no means any fault of mine. Rather, it is a quality control issue that occurred at some point during the time I got my license. When going through security at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), the guards have remarked that they have seen this a lot, where newer North Carolina licenses have quickly degraded beyond recognition, so obviously the issue I am facing is not a one-time thing.

Indeed, I travel a great deal on business – it has been every week, Monday-Friday since mid-March – and need to show my license when passing through security at RDU and others around the country. Today I was challenged regarding my ID. This has now happened a few times during my travels, but this is the first time it has occurred at RDU. Upon this event, I decided it was finally time to call the DMV and obtain a replacement license.

I spoke with a polite woman named Melanie at the DMV call center and explained the situation to her, asking if I would have to pay the required $10 DMV fee to get a replacement. After speaking with her supervisor, she responded stating that despite the quality defects, I would nonetheless be responsible in paying for a replacement, and that I would have to bring it in to show an examiner before a replacement would be made.

Obviously, you might understand the issue at hand here:
• I do not feel that I, or anyone in my situation, should be subject to a $10 replacement driver’s license replacement fee when this is a readily-known DMV quality control issue for license production;
• Furthermore, I should not have to take time out of my extremely busy travel schedule, to “prove” to the DMV that my license has seen this degree of degradation, in order to get a replacement;
• Finally, as the DMV refuses to supply to me at no cost a valid replacement for my poorly manufactured license, I am riskily put in the position of liability when my state-issued ID fails to identify me, be this at an airport or by an officer of the law in the state of North Carolina.

I anticipate that I have made clear the issues that I, and others, am facing with regards to the North Carolina DMV, and trust that you will take this issue into consideration. Thank you very much for your time, and I wish you and your family the best during the upcoming holiday season.

Regards,

Courtenay S Welton, III

cc: Division of Motor Vehicles


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