Fiscal Note for DMV Costs – Licensing Illegal Aliens

 How much will H786 (Reclaim NC Act) cost the taxpayers?

$1.5 million at a minimum.

  1. According to Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates, the potential costs of modifications to information technology and print systems could approach $698,470 and $800,000, respectively.
  1. As of 2010, the Pew Research Center estimated that the unauthorized immigrant population within North Carolina ranged from 240,000 to 425,000 persons. However, of this potential range, Fiscal Research cannot estimate the proportion of undocumented alien drivers which might qualify for the new restricted drivers permit or ID, based on fulfillment of the enumerated and existing eligibility requirements. Accordingly, potential revenue impacts, card production and administrative costs are indeterminate.
  1. The Department of Transportation estimates that additional costs will be incurred to modify information technology systems, including the Next Generation Secure Driver License System (NGSDLS) which is currently under development.
  1. According to the Department of Transportation, Information Technology Section (DOT-IT), modifications are required to the State Automated Driver License System (SADLS), State Titling and Registration System (STARS), Next Generation Secure Driver License System (NGSDLS), and Liability Insurance Tracking and Enforcement System (LITES) to implement the proposed requirements. Because the NGSDLS project is establishing a graphic user interface for SADLS mainframe programs and screens, code changes to support system processes for new card templates, identity/document verification, fees and expiration dates must also be applied to the NGSDLS. In addition, new interfaces must be developed with LITES and insurance companies to verify coverage for restricted permit/ID holders and also verify issuance of a valid restricted permit/ID. Further, STARS modifications must apply titling and registration service restrictions to vehicles seized due to restricted permit/ID violations, and also generate new batch letters for vehicle seizure notices. To implement these requirements, DOT-IT projects a total of 4,386 development labor hours at an estimated cost of $698,470, of which approximately 2,000 hours ($130,000) may be accommodated with existing resources.
  1. In addition to creating and maintaining new card templates, DMV must also acquire the technical capability to capture and store an electronically readable thumbprint, incorporate an alpha character into the driver license/ID number, and reprogram the print file and print stream for the driver license/identification card printing facility. Additionally, DMV expects that card materials and printing machines must be updated to accommodate printing of a readable thumbprint overlay. Although DMV could not provide an estimate of the costs of collecting, transmitting, and storing thumbprints, preliminary estimates of vendor cost for printing and card production requirements total $800,000. Cost estimates could not be obtained from the NGSDLS vendor to assess the potential impact of inclusion of these modifications as part of the NGSDLS project.

Maureen A. Wilson
Cape Fear FIRE
Wilmington, NC

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