Driver’s license fees increase

Published 5:20 pm Friday, February 13, 2015

The cost of renewing a driver’s license in Alabama increased $12.75 this week.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency raised the rate due to a discovery that the state was losing a “significant” amount of money each time a driver’s license was issued, according to ALEA Public Relations Director Anna Morris.

It previously cost those living in Alabama $23.50 for four years, but will now cost $36.25 for four years.

“The cost for the state to provide and issue an Alabama driver license far exceeds the cost the citizen is charged to obtain a driver license,” Morris said. “To help recoup a portion of the loss to produce a driver license, beginning Feb. 9, ALEA modified the charge.”

Section 32-6-6 of the Code of Alabama grants the department of Public Safety (now, ALEA) the ability to modify the fee according to the production costs.

Morris said the change came about due to wanting to promote efficiency in the ALEA.

“One of the areas that desperately needed improvement is the driver license,” Morris said. “The business model for driver license simply wasn’t working; the system is inefficient and archaic.”

Morris said a goal of ALEA is to alleviate or reduce wait times when renewing licenses. Kiosks have been in use in Mobile, Dothan, Montgomery, Opelika, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Decatur and Huntsville to make renewals easier.

Morris also said the state plans to offer renewals in the first quarter of 2015.

The changes in fees will not affect testing fees or issuance fees for non-driver identification cards for senior citizens or individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities.

“We ask the public to be patient and judge us by our efficiencies that we implement,” Morris said.