So many people want to exchange their drivers licenses for ones that dont list their Social Security numbers that a mad rush at drivers license renewal sites since Tuesday is clogging up Honolulus computer system.
The demand has been so overwhelming that the message from city officials yesterday was: Everyone can eventually get a new drivers license. Just dont come in all at once.
A new state law that no longer requires Social Security numbers to be listed took effect New Years Day. The change was made to help prevent the alarming rise of identity theft. Instead of the nine-digit Social Security number, a random eight-digit number preceded by the letter "H" is listed.
Drivers license renewal sites in Kaneohe, Pearl City, Wahiawa, Waianae and Kalihi have been packed with people wanting to exchange their licenses, said city Customer Services Director Carol Costa.
"The new computer program that gives out (new) random ID numbers is slowing down our other city-related computer programs because of the high demand," she said.
The computer slowdown and long lines are also affecting customer service. Issuing a duplicate drivers license previously took 2 to 3 minutes at a service counter. The wait is now 10 to 15 minutes, Costa said.
Changing a drivers license is not mandatory, and drivers can wait until their license renewal date, when a new number will be assigned automatically, said Dennis Kamimura, Licensing and Permits Division administrator.
Drivers license renewals also can be made at the Fort Street and Windward Mall satellite city halls. The Windward Mall site also is open on Saturdays.