Alabama’s driver license system getting facelift, offices to temporarily close
Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2022
By Shane Dunaway
The Selma Times-Journal
Governor Kay Ivey announced last week changes will be coming to Alabama’s driver license system with the goal to modernize the current system established nearly two decades ago. Ivey said the changes to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Driver License System, or LEADS, will provide significant improvements for both citizens and Driver License personnel across the state.
“This new system will consolidate multiple legacy systems into one integrated, modern system to further protect our citizens’ data and enhance customer service,” Ivey said. “I am proud of ALEA’s dedication to complete this crucial and extensive task to positively impact all citizens.”
During the installation process for the new system and new hardware, Driver License Offices in the state will close to the public from April 18-26. This process includes the converting data dating back to 1970 into the new system.
“The agency and my team are absolutely devoted to ensuring all of our local and state partners are fully informed on the new system, as well as on the significant impacts the office closures will have on citizens statewide during the modernization and transition process,” said Jonathan Archer, Chief of ALEA’s Driver License Division. “Beyond upgrading the capabilities of our infrastructure with state-of-the-art technology, LEADS allows us to more efficiently serve and interact with our customers.
“We have partnered with Fast Enterprises and have been preparing to successfully complete this launch for a number of years; however, we have established April 26 as the planned reopening date of all offices once we have successfully completed the transition.”
Online services will be unavailable during the temporary closure.
Class D and CDL Road Skills Tests conducted by ALEA Examiners will not be affected by the closure as well as revenue and probate services provided by County Offices, which will remain open to carry out those specific functions.
Colonel Jimmy Helms, Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety, said the changes to LEADS will streamline and speed up processes, benefiting both customers and personnel.
“We want everyone to recognize that when LEADS makes its spring of 2022 debut, it will not only bring about changes to the division, but all county offices that issue driver licenses will be affected as well,” he said.
The new system, once fully integrated, grants citizens access to a wealth of new online capabilities that are anticipated to reduce wait times, including:
- Ability to update their addresses,
- Ability to pay and reinstate their licenses,
- Ability to upload U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Medical Cards,
• Ability to view Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Hazmat background checks,
- Ability to issue duplicate licenses to eligible foreign nationals, and
- Ability to pre-apply for individuals who are requesting an Alabama License for the first time.
“LEADS is a tangible example of ALEA’s continued focus on improving customer service, communication and technology to effectively achieve the Agency’s mission of providing quality service for all,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor. “We are excited to join Governor Ivey in this announcement, and we would like to thank her and all members of the Legislature for continuously supporting our Agency and providing us with the necessary resources to complete such a monumental and historic project for the state of Alabama.”