REAL ID creates real problem for DMVs


County DMVs receive its funding through a reimbursement of a percentage of each transaction that passes through its doors. The State Association of County Clerks says that amount doesn’t cut it any more as the rate hasn’t increased in 20 years. 

“I’ve been at this for 30 years and it’s the worst its ever been,” said Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola. “I don’t know if we’re seeing more people, but I can tell you we’re seeing people a lot longer than we use to,” Merola continued.

That’s because of the passing of the REAL ID Act and the need for REAL IDs and enhanced IDs. County clerks are pushing for twice the amount they’re currently receiving. 

“They’re time consuming, they take more time for us to process the transaction, it’s a longer process — so we’re busier but we’re making less money,” Merola said.

That extended wait time for customers is translating into a loss of about $100,000 for the Rensselaer County DMV, a tab the county may have to pick up.

County clerks will meet next week to push state lawmakers for an increase in funding.

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