Counties may lose money with new online drivers license renewal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Counties may lose money with new online drivers license renewal system

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BREMER COUNTY (KWWL) -

Every year an average of eight thousand people walk into the Bremer County courthouse to renew their drivers license, including Melissa Breddin.

"It was a little bit past due," said Breddin.

Melissa says because of her busy life, she would take advantage of the online system.

"I'm lucky my husband was able to be around to take care of the kids, but if I have to come in with my kids and everything else it makes it a little harder to do," said Breddin.

Starting Monday, Iowans can renew drivers licenses online. While the new system unveiled by the Iowa Department of Transportation gives Iowans more flexibility and convenience, some Iowa counties are concerned about the ultimate cost. 

Bremer County is one of 81 counties who get that seven dollar reimbursement from the state.

"Online renewals I think will be convenient for some that can't come to the office, but it's also taking away the revenue from the counties that are issuing them. We do use that revenue to keep the office running between wages and expenditures," said Sue Shonka, Bremer County Treasurer.

Shonka thinks they will lose a third of their customers because of the new online service.

"A third of the people may make a difference where I would maybe have to cut staff into a part time person instead of a full time person. I don't know yet," said Shonka.

Shonka says if they lose enough revenue they may have pull money that comes in from property taxes to cover those expenses.

"I'm hoping not. I don't want to see anyone's taxes go up. But you never know," said Shonka.

Shonka says she also hopes people will come in to renew their licenses because of their customer service. She says although there is a phone number on the website, they are right there at the counter to answer any questions.

Other treasurers are concerned with the new renewal period through the online system. Online you can renew every other renewal period. County officials say they are concerned because a lot of things can change in that ten to sixteen year time period, including physical appearance and health.

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