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North Idaho sheriffs urge ITD action

September 6, 2018
As you have probably seen over the past several months, the sheriffs here in Idaho are extremely frustrated with the Idaho Transportation Department and the lack of service, appropriate software and solutions for the issuing of driver’s licenses.

As sheriffs, we and our staffs take the brunt of the complaints — since most people do not understand that as sheriffs, we are only the vendor, but the Transportation Department holds all of the cards. (Idaho is only one of two known states where the sheriff issues driver’s licenses. All others are directly vended by the Department of Transportation.)

This year, we have spent thousands of dollars in unused manpower because the Transportation Department’s computer system has been down. Our staff and the public we serve are all frustrated with this apparent lack of responsiveness from a state agency.

Here in the First District, it doesn’t matter if you have one driver’s license examiner or 10, the level of frustration with long lines and waits, system failure mid-transaction or the lack of timely assistance on the ITD help line has reached a breaking point.

Sheriffs do not make money on vending driver’s licenses. In fact, in Kootenai County, the property taxpayers supplement the Transportation Department more than $75,000 annually.

The sheriffs and the citizens have had enough.

It is time that the Transportation Department followed 48 other states and took over their own vending of driver’s licenses. We would not retain a company who performed so poorly, and we should not have to continue doing business on behalf of a state agency that performs so poorly.

Benewah County Sheriff Dave Resser
Boundary County Sheriff Dave Kramer
Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler
Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger
Shoshone County Sheriff Darrell “Mike” Gunderson

© Kootenai Valley Times
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83806