Driver’s license office to get overhaul
Published 6:47 pm Monday, February 7, 2022
Alabama will be getting an overhaul of its antiquated driver’s license system that will bring the state’s drivers into the modern era.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said the new system will provide significant improvements for both citizens and driver license personnel across the state. She said the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Driver License System, known as LEADS, will replace the current system, which has been in place for almost 20 years.
“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.”
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said 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.
“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,” Taylor said.
In order to install the new system and new hardware, Driver License Offices statewide must close beginning Monday, April 18, with plans to reopen Tuesday, April 26. In addition to the new hardware, tremendous amounts of data received since 1970 will be converted into LEADS. While offices will be closed temporarily to the public and online services will not be available during the transition period, ALEA Examiners will continue to administer Class D and CDL Road Skills Tests. County Offices will remain open but strictly for revenue and probate services.
Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety Col. Jimmy Helms the new system will affects offices statewide.
“ALEA’s Driver License Division has worked diligently at the direction of Chief Jonathan Archer to meticulously improve technology and processes at every level within the new system,” Helms said. “LEADS will streamline and speed up the process, benefiting both customers and personnel. We want everyone to recognize that when LEADS makes its debut in spring of 2022, it will not only bring about changes to the division, but all county offices that issue driver licenses will be affected as well.”
Archer, the ALEA Driver License Division’s chief, said the new system will bring the driver’s license division a wide range of new capabilities.
“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,” Archer said. “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.”
Once LEADS goes live, citizens will have access to a variety of new options and such enhanced services as allowing individuals to pre-apply for the Alabama Driver License and enter all necessary information prior to visiting a local office, reducing wait times exponentially. Once LEADS goes live, ALEA will offer expanded online services to include but not limited to:
• 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
• Ability to pre-apply for individuals who are requesting an Alabama License for the first time.