House Oversight Committee Investigates DMV Contract and Renewal Extension; Commissioner, Deputy to Testify

Raleigh, NC – The House Oversight and Reform Committee has issued a letter to the Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Deputy Commissioner Portia Manley requesting their appearance before the committee Wednesday, October 11, at 9:00 a.m. in the Legislative Building Auditorium.

The committee is investigating the process that DMV used to award a contract for printing driver’s license to Canadian company CBN Secure Technologies. DMV exempted the project from IT procurement oversight and did not use a competitive bidding process. Members will probe the process, timing, and rationale behind DMV’s decision. They will also pursue allegations that the vendor’s technology may not be able to produce driver’s licenses that comply with state law.

Additionally, the committee will seek to understand the reversal in Commissioner Goodwin’s support for extending the 8-year driver’s license renewal period to 16 years. Goodwin made the legislative budget request for DMV in February. Since the budget passed, however, the commissioner has spoken out against the provision, saying the extension violates federal REAL ID requirements. Members attempt to determine when DMV learned that the longer renewal period would not meet federal requirements, why it was not until after making the request, and why the agency did not make legislators aware sooner.

“One purpose of oversight is to examine if department officials are complying with the law,” said committee co-chair Rep. Jake Johnson. “We have to wonder whether this contract is even valid if the company cannot produce a legal state driver’s license. The speed and lack of oversight in awarding this contract also raise concerns related to the security of North Carolinians’ personally identifiable information.”

“The commissioner has provided little to back up his statements that 16-year license renewals do not comply with federal REAL ID requirements,” co-chair Rep. Harry Warren said. “To the extent that he is correct, it is not clear why it took until after he made the legislative request to learn this. We want to clear up the confusion.”