Archive for Friday, July 21, 2006

21-year-olds find law requiring license renewals a hassle

Different IDs meant to make it easier to spot underage drinkers

July 21, 2006


Marguerite Schumm, of Lawrence, didn't know turning 21 could be such a hassle.

Under a new law that took effect July 1, all Kansans turning 21 need to renew their driver's license. The purpose of the change was to make it easier to spot underage drinkers.

The new licenses issued are different in appearance than those issued to younger drivers.

The catch is that the renewal can't be done until the person actually turns 21. A 15-day extension can be granted if the birthday falls on a weekend, holiday or when a Division of Vehicles office is closed.

The new law is expected to affect 35,000 drivers each year, according to a Kansas Department of Revenue estimate.

But when Schumm turns 21 she will be out of state, possibly for up to a year as she attends college in New York and visits Europe.

"It's just silly," Schumm said. Doing without a license, which serves as photo ID for traveling and banking, is not an option, she said.

So she said she will probably get a New York driver's license, which she said may cost more than $100.

Schumm said the Kansas Department of Revenue told her she could get a six-month extension on her license, but the process for that seemed extremely complicated.

Freda Warfield, a spokeswoman for the agency, said six-month extensions are available. Those wanting to get one must contact the agency and complete a special form that is available online at

The new license looks distinctly different from the under-21 license so it is easier for vendors and enforcers to discern whether a person can legally drink alcohol. The change was pushed during the last legislative session by the Kansas Licensed Beverage Assn.

Warfield said the Driver's License Examining Bureau understands the inconvenience the new law may cause.

"The bureau will do everything possible to assist the individuals," she said.

"Until the extension is received, I suggest applicants consider carrying a copy of the request for extension with their driver's license to demonstrate that the request was submitted to the Kansas Division of Vehicles," she said.


Ragingbear 11 years, 9 months ago

In other events of the blindingly obvios: Beauracracy sucks.

Nikki May 11 years, 9 months ago

It doesn't cause issues for me personally, but wow, what a sucky law. Is it some kid's fault that the bar people can't read, "not 21 until" and then know the date?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 9 months ago

"How is this considered news worthy?"

Yeah. And, how does this girl's unique situation (being out of the country) make her plight relevant? I have to renew my license every so many years, and it could happen to me when I DECIDE to go out of the country. If I'm out of the country in 4/2012, then I'm just as "inconvienced" as she is on her 21st birthday! SO WHAT? Deal.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 9 months ago

This story could just as easily have read "renewing driver's licenses is inconvenient for all drivers in every state". What a news flash.

average 11 years, 9 months ago

OldEnuf -

The thing is, you could renew your DL any time between 10/2011 and 4/2012. Twenty years olds cannot, because, shudder, some illiterate bouncer might let them near the firewater.

cutny 11 years, 9 months ago

Come on you guys...what's up? Blame the oppressive city commission, as you do for everything else. Gotta be the liberals, right? Oh those progressives make our simple simple lives such a hassle. Certainly Boogrundleville is behind this evilness. How can you conservatives just idly sit by and take this infringement as they impugn upon all that is good and fair? We've got the gas, so light the fire already.

Mike Blur 11 years, 9 months ago

They's gots to pay for dem roundabouts sumhow!

Nah, seriously, it's a non-issue. My niece turned 21 in March, and she couldn't wait to get rid of her "underage" ID--on her birthday, no less! I bet most newly-minted 21ers feel that way.

tnfats 11 years, 9 months ago

What I think is worse is the "temporary" DL they give you when you renew. My 30th was last month and even though I went to the DMV two weeks prior, my new DL didn't arrive before the old one expired (and why on earth does it take 4-6 weeks to print an ID it used to take 10 minutes to do at the DMV?). So, I went out for a drink to celebrate and no one - I mean no one - would take the paper DL (even with the old one as proof).

Gotta love the DMV. They give you a piece of paper that is sufficient to use as ID to fly, get arrested, or get a loan; but NOT to buy a beer.

mztrendy 11 years, 9 months ago

and has anyone mentioned the people that work at the DMV are MEAN??

jayhawks71 11 years, 9 months ago

This type of issue IS newsworthy because it sheds light on the myriad ways government oppresses citizens. I would rather the newpaper present "fringe" items and let me decide whether they are newsworthy. Further, this being on the Internet, don't click the link or stop reading after ther first few sentences. Whiners.

Tony Kisner 11 years, 9 months ago

I hear you.

Going to the DMV is a good career counseling tool. "Look if you don't think about where you are pointing your career look what can happen to you. You work for the State in a dead end job that makes you very cranky."

conservative 11 years, 9 months ago


maybe because it's a state law and not a local commission debacle.

Stupid law, make the bouncers learn to read. Seemed to work just fine that if you wanted to renew at 21 to get the different appearance you could, but to make it law is just stupid.

auturgy 11 years, 9 months ago

I think that the issue at hand here is that you must renew your license AFTER you are 21. Meaning, for me, it will require an additional trip home from college (because my birthday falls in September) just to renew my license. If the law weren't in place, I could renew it BEFORE I left for school, but the new law requires me to wait an additional two weeks before getting the picture taken.

Are they afraid that I will take advantage of those two weeks before I get it renewed?! My old license (gotten before the law was passed) is the same as everyone else's. It just says "Not 18 before...." (I got it nearly five years ago). It's not vertical like the new ones. I've not taken advantage of the situation before. And I've not been told I can't buy cigarettes or Super Glue because I'm not 18.

This particular process is ridiculous, and that's why it's news.

Harry_Manback 11 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, I turned 21 last year and my license expired on my birthday, which was on the weekend. I had to wait to renew it, until Tuesday (they're not open on Monday), so they fined me a couple of dollars. Also, I wasn't allowed to buy liquor at one store cause they my ID was expired, but I just went somewhere else. Just another annoyance about license renewal...

dirkleisure 11 years, 9 months ago

But what about that headline? "21-year-olds..."

I only read about a single 21-year-old.

It is the end of July, and the LJ World is pandering to students starting to trickle back to town in advance of August 1st.

This isn't news; this is a shameful attempt to sell more papers. Why don't they just put bra ads on the front page instead?

ImpactWinter 11 years, 9 months ago

I likewise think this law is a little stupid, but I believe the idea is the blanks for the over 21 ID aren't available for underagers to modify (Fake ID's) so you can tell at a glance if someone is actually 21, because the license is only available through the state.

mitchell09 11 years, 9 months ago

If you guys think that ANYTHING to do with the DMV here is complicated then you haven't had to deal with one in a major city. The DMV in Lawrence is a cake walk and the people that work there are rays of sunshine compared to what I dealt with in Atlanta for eight years. Yeah, Lawrence has its issues, but seriously its not that bad!

lawrencephilosopher 11 years, 9 months ago

Slow news day hun.... Please LJW think outside the city limits!

taylorc29 11 years, 9 months ago

So.. if you're really busy on your 21st and just don't have time to make it in to renew (you probably won't be driving anyway)... do Bars accept expired licenses as forms of ID?
They should... they'll get their money anyway...

missmagoo 11 years, 9 months ago

Typical KS drivers get their full license when they're 16...and they have to take the test to renew at 18/19, so now since you have to renew at 21, that makes it 2/3 years instead of the normal 4 for renewal.

Why don't bars just make the investment and buy those machines that scan the ID? Stupid bartenders/bouncers does not mean we need a new law. Geez.

auturgy 11 years, 9 months ago

Well, I find the law a hassle, and I'll be 21 in a month and a half. So I thought the article was pertinent. I'm also from Lawrence, and go elsewhere to school, so pander away to me. Maybe it's time the Journal World starting working towards broadening their reader-base. I would love to read things that pertain to me as well as things that do not.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

Actually, a driver's license is good for six years now in Kansas, not four. And everyone's renewal is due on their birthday.

You also better keep up to date on any address changes. The post office won't forward renewal notices if the person no longer lives at the address on their license.

They've debated more than once making it law that you can't even get a driver's license until you're 21. So I guess it could be worse, huh?

Confrontation 11 years, 9 months ago

"Schumm said the Kansas Department of Revenue told her she could get a six-month extension on her license, but the process for that seemed extremely complicated."

Like, totally, a whole form is just too difficult! Oh my gooosh!!! Daddy, do something!

GuardChica 11 years, 9 months ago

Out of curiousity, you have to do it on a particular day in Kansas? I'm not familiar with the laws on it here.

In SD, we have one month after our 21st birthday to renew our licenses. I won't be home during the week at all during that month, so I was able to renew my license (pay the fee, take the eye exam, get a new picture, etc.) before I left in May and they'll mail me a new one after my birthday. If it works, it seems like a good idea.

lancer2002 11 years, 9 months ago

First of all, I would like to give everyone an opportunity to realize what it's like on the other side of the counter at the DMV. Mztrendy, I'm not sure what cranky DMV employees have to do with this particular topic, but working for the DMV, I consider myself rather pleasant. Granted, there are some cranky ones out there but that's kind of a moot point. Easy does it, I don't consider myself stuck in a dead end job, I'm employed and I make decent money and my job does not make me cranky, in fact I enjoy the interaction with people. The attitude you give the DMV is generally the one that is reciprocated back to you. Also, you don't know every employees situation as to why they work for the DMV, so it is unfair to say that someone is stuck in a job, when if they didn't like it they could easily resign. I realize getting your license renewed is a hassle, and people have to miss work to get it done, and a thousand other scenarios that make a person cranky even before they walk in the door, but it's one of those things you just have to grin and bear it, like paying taxes and renewing your car tags. The idea to change the law was deligated by the state, not the local DMV. The people that work here are not in charge of the laws that get passed but we do have to enforce them. We realize that people under 21 are getting the raw end of the deal, but there are certain protocol we have to follow. Auturgy, drivers license is a statewide organization, not county specific, which means you don't have to make a trip home if there is a kansas DMV near your college.

taylorc29 11 years, 9 months ago

The employees at the DMV in Johnson County are either really grumpy or don't speak english very well... I'm in the same boat as bialystocknbloom... I turn 20 this year and I really don't feel like going in again next year again... But I'm just lazy..

Confrontation 11 years, 9 months ago

lancer2002: I have never met a grumpy person at the DMV. Maybe it's because I smile and I am polite to the worker. I also know the word "Thank you", which is not taught to many people when they are childen. These other jerks, who go in there with an attitude and act like the DMV worker is the cause of all their troubles, deserve to be treated like the a$$es they are.

jayhawks71 11 years, 9 months ago

Lancer, you said : "We realize that people under 21 are getting the raw end of the deal, but there are certain protocol we have to follow."

Why does a protocol supercede the needs of the people? The point here is that the protocol sucks and needs to change. If the government protocol required that you drop your pants for your license picture would you simply say "oh well, gotta follow the rules, like a mindless automaton?" CHANGE THE PROTOCOL. I bet changing the protocol will amount to a national security breach and probably fund terrorism in some way.

reginafliangie 11 years, 9 months ago

Jayhawks, I don't think Lancer is in charge of changing the protocols, sounds like you have to take it up with the state.

applesandoranges 11 years, 9 months ago

the problem here isn't just that renewing the license is a pain, but the reason why the law was passed in the first place. what exactly were they hoping to accomplish? who is it benefitting? what purpose does it serve? will a piece of paper with a six month extension be taken seriously elsewhere in the united states? who will accept the kansas dmv's six month renewal and validation paper? why can't the state of kansas mail the new license after the 21st birthday? this is an interesting issue, but why is it on the front page?

reginafliangie 11 years, 9 months ago

I think it all boils down to ID theft and fake ID users. Once again, because of some law breakers, we all have to suffer.

missmagoo 11 years, 9 months ago

More importantly, why did this law take effect 20 days ago and the LJW is just publishing it now???

taylorc29 11 years, 9 months ago

Well... its more interesting than the article about a show on the Disney Chanel.... which I wasted time reading

Sigmund 11 years, 9 months ago

You mean you have to fill out a web form? That sounds really complicated and where am I going to find a computer that is connected to the interweb? The horror.

Katie Van Blaricum 11 years, 9 months ago

I'm still confused about the rule for people over 21. Do they really have to mail you your license now?? They used to make it right there in front of you. I haven't been for awhile, so should I go several days before my license expires in order to allow for mailing time?

reginafliangie 11 years, 9 months ago

aquakej: my son just went, they do mail them to you but give you a digital readout of the license (looks like a regular reciept, expect your picture is on it) that is your license until the original arrives in the mail.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

Everyone has to have their renewed license mailed to them now, not just those who turn 21. Yes, it used to be done individually at each DMV. As I understand it, this was done because there were so many thefts at DMV offices, and the stuff stolen was being used to create fake IDs.

No, GuardaChic, it doesn't have to be done on a particular day. The process has to be started, however, BEFORE your birthday, except for those over 21.

I think was they were referring to is that not all DMV offices are open every day of the work week. In some areas, there may be only one or two days a week that they're open. Which of course doesn't include weekends.

Here's a thought for you: how about if DMV was allowed to be open for a few hours on Saturdays, or an evening one day a week?

lawmattr 11 years, 9 months ago

Senate Bill 554 Page 3

If the driver's license of any person expires while such person is outside the United States, the division shall provide for renewal by mail.

amazed 11 years, 9 months ago

Advice to 21-year-olds: Chill. This is absolutely nothing in the big picture of life. You will NOT be able to deal with this world, period, if you are getting wrapped around the axle at 21 over something this minute.

mztrendy 11 years, 9 months ago

The DMV is not open on Mondays, so why would they be open on Saturday? But aren't they open until 530? Lancer can you help here?

auturgy 11 years, 9 months ago

lancer2002, thanks for the info. And yes, we have to wait until AFTER our birthdays. We are being punished for trying to do the RIGHT thing. That's just my opinion.

lancer2002 11 years, 9 months ago

Crazyks- full service dmv's work four ten hour days- from 7 am till roughly 6 pm give or take a few counties. They also rotate their lunch schedules so that they do not have to close down for an hour midday. So you basically have an 11 hour span four days out of the week when you can make changes or renew your license. Technically, that does make them open in the evenings.

Confrontation- we sincerely appreciate customers who are friendly and say thank you. There are many people that come in who are disrespectful, but the people who are nice and laugh and joke around with us are our favorite customers and really brighten our day.

Regina- you hit the nail on the head. Protocol is issued by the state, not the local DMV.

ksmoderate 11 years, 9 months ago

In general, people don't say please and/or thank you enough these days....very sad. Lancer is absolutely right that approaching someone with a polite demeanor will likely bring the same from the person being approached; this is true anywhere, not just at the DMV.

Scott Drummond 11 years, 9 months ago

If there were no smoking allowed in the bars would it make it easier for the bouncers to read the licenses?!?

Just a thought.

jayhawks71 11 years, 9 months ago

'Senate Bill 554 Page 3

If the driver's license of any person expires while such person is outside the United States, the division shall provide for renewal by mail."

Well Lawmattr, that looks like a BILL, not a binding law.

Jersey_Girl 11 years, 9 months ago

Renewing one's license is ALWAYS a pain. If you're a college student who lives out of state and this makes getting your new license difficult, you're better of getting a new license in the state where you are attending college, anyway. Bouncers/liquer salesmen find trying to find your birthday on an unfamiliar out-of-state license a pain. If you're going to college in-state, is it really such a pain to come home over the weekend? Sheesh, I'd forgotten just how rough it is to turn 21.

Mike Blur 11 years, 9 months ago

Gotta be careful there JerseyGirl. I don't remember the exact cases, but I do recall somewhat instances where if a Kansas resident gets a DL in another state, and subsequently moves back to Kansas, he or she could be counted as an "non-resident" for tuition purposes. State of Kansas argues that the out-of-state license is sufficient evidence of intention of permanently residing in another state. (Likewise, if you buy a house in another state, that could also disqualify you for in-state tuition in KS)

In short, don't get a license in another state until you're absolutely sure you're going to be a permanent resident of that state. 'Cuz if you do, it might suck if you come back to Lawrence for grad school.

Liberty 11 years, 9 months ago

Just wait until they try to push the "Real ID" (national ID card) on you next. That should be intertaining to see who is willing to submit to it.

The_Twelve 11 years, 9 months ago

OldEnuf:"This story could just as easily have read "renewing driver's licenses is inconvenient for all drivers in every state". What a news flash."

lawmattr: Senate Bill 554 Page 3

"If the driver's license of any person expires while such person is outside the United States, the division shall provide for renewal by mail."

JerseyGirl: "If you're going to college in-state, is it really such a pain to come home over the weekend?"

Let's see, where do I start? Tried to renew license before I left the country. ASSumed that it could be done in one day, as in the previous state where I lived. NOPE! 10 days... and by God, they weren't going to mail it to me in Europe. so---"renewing" is not a pain everywhere.

JerseyGirl: Wish I was rich enough to hop "out of state" for the weekend like you. You probably schedule all your classes on TH just so you can fly to the Bahamas for a couple of days.

mike_blur: Don't worry about "In-state" tuition. One rarely gets it. I have been a resident here for 8 years, pay KS taxes, have held several jobs, etc., but am forced to pay "out of state" tuition. It's a joke, and the very mention of the possibility of receiving it should be regarded as false advertising by KU.

tongie 11 years, 9 months ago

Yeah I had to get my license renewed when I turned 20 and now I have to get it renewed again when I turn 21 in a couple months which sucks cuz license are 20 something dollars. Plus the DMV hours suck cuz I work 9-6 Monday thru Friday and I work Saturdays I only have an hour for lunch and the DMV is 20 minutes away, then you have to wait in line (cuz there is almost always a line during lunch) and then drive back to work and try to find time to stop and get something to eat. It's just an inconvience all around.

reginafliangie 11 years, 9 months ago

Well tongie you are going to find that those situations will happen more and more in life. Just suck up and deal with it. I spend most of my days off running errands and cleaning a house. I don't get to actually relax, cause I got responsiblities. When I need to get things done that aren't open on my days off, I have to use my vacation time, etc to get it done. Everybody does, and it gets worse as you get older and have more responsiblities. Better get used to it.

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