Old News – DMV

Here is an article about the Department of Motor Vehicles just starting to get computer terminals to print driver’s licenses. Not the cost of each terminal. That would eventually speed up the process. Then the process would slow down again when NY state finally decided to put your picture on the license. NY was one of the last states to add your picture to the license. In the near future, all driver’s licenses will be what they call “enhanced  driver’s license.” That kind can also be used to go to Canada and Mexico. It also adds some added security.

The Honeoye Falls Times

Thursday, Feb. 22, 1968

Don’t Expect 5-second Replacement of Lost License; It’s Year Away

Mislaid driving licenses will be replaced within seconds by a computer-operated device unveiled this week by New York State Motor Vehicle Commissioner Vincent L. Tofany.

The devise, called a computer terminal, is a special type of remote-control typewriter. The computer uses the keyboard to request the duplicate license, then the computer takes over and prints the form at the rate of 14 characters per second.

Although the program is still two years away for most of the State, Commissioner Tofany said instantaneous State-wide service could be expected in December 1969, after installation of terminals in each of the Departments 93 license issuing offices.

Meantime, the processing of duplicate licenses for those areas awaiting their terminals is being expedited by another electronic innovation 00 a visual display unit — which resembles a television set with a typewriter keyboard attached.

These units permit an instant check of computer data to see if the licenses is under suspension or revocation. If not, the touch of a button orders the computer to initiate production of a duplicate license.

This visual display system requires five days to produce a duplicate license, as opposed to the two-week wait experienced one year ago. The terminal system will reduce this five day wait to five seconds.

The electronic system will be faster and more accurate because of a “buffering” device that stores messages until the terminal operator is ready to transmit to the computer. Such messages may be typed at any speed, and corrected where necessary, before the terminal is fully activated. Here’s how it works:

Once a terminal is installed, it is continually checked by the computer via a telephone line. The operator types her request for a duplicate license, verifies her information, inserts a blank form, and presses her “send” button.

The computer instantly “reads” the request, checks its data bank, the transmits and reprints all pertinent information on the license form.

Should the data indicate that the license is under suspension or revocation, the computer will report this instead of completing the form.

Should the computer fail to locate the data because the request does not conform to the information on the original license, the driver will be nearby to give the terminal operator the needed information.

Commissioner Tofany, noted, however, that there could be occasions when a driver would be uncertain of how his name appeared on the original license. To solve this problem, the Department is studying the possibility of having the visual display units conduct a “search” of the computer files.

As invisioned, this search search process would provide an instant electronic check of such variables as incorrect date of birth or wrong middle initial. The correct listing could be relayed by telephone to the terminal operator, who would then review the request accordingly.

The cost of the terminals will be borne by the Department. Each single unit (buffer plus one typewriter) costs $8,000; each double unit (buffer plus two typewriter) costs $12,000.

Terminals may be operated by any typist in a county clerk’s office after three days of procedural training. The Department plans to provide a supervisor to monitor the first week’s operation by each new operator.

Commissioner Toffany said the terminal system might eventually be used for producing duplicate registration certificates in the same manner used for duplicate licenses.