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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  March 5, 2002  
NEWS FROM: Director’s Office     02-001    

Lewis to Meet With Elko County Commissioners

Responding to concerns about the state’s upcoming switch to digitized driver licenses, Ginny Lewis, director of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, will explain the changes to the Elko County commissioners Wednesday.  The department plans to phase in the more secure digitized format beginning in April.

“The benefits to digitized licenses are overwhelming,” Lewis said.  “The problem is some of the equipment isn’t portable.  The solution is to establish criteria that provides the best services to our customers, whether it’s at a fixed office or a travel site.”

Currently, department teams travel monthly from Elko to Jackpot, Wells and Wendover to renew or issue driver licenses.  Teams also travel from Carson City, Ely and Winnemucca to rural locations.  Since some of the equipment that generates digitized licenses can’t make the trips, the department is studying the pros and cons of all traveling teams.

“We have to examine how often the teams are traveling,” Lewis said, “where they are traveling and how many people they are serving when they get there.  I’m confident we can find a solution that will allow us to serve our customers efficiently while taking advantage of this technology.”

Digitized driver licenses are more durable and far more secure than the laminated licenses now used in Nevada.  Besides reducing the threat of identity theft and being more difficult to counterfeit, the new licenses will make it easier for motorists to get duplicates and aid law enforcement officers.

 “When all is said and done,” Lewis said, “one of tests we use to see if we’ve done our job is to ask the question, ‘Did we do what was in our power to ensure the roads and highways of Nevada are safer for our customers?’  Digitized driver licenses are a ‘yes’ to that question.”

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