In 2012, 43,446 driver’s licenses will expire in Tippecanoe County. And the license of Lafayette resident Ed Butz is one of them.

But that doesn’t mean Butz, whose birthday was Saturday, plans to be anywhere near his local license branch when the renewal deadline arrives next year.

Asked if he plans to renew early — licenses can be renewed within one year of the expiration date — Butz said it’s looking likely.

“I probably will,” Butz said. “It’s just quicker.”

Across the state, Bureau of Motor Vehicles employees are ramping up for 2012 when a record 2.1 million Indiana driver’s licenses are set to expire in a single year. According to numbers from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the rush will be just as evident locally.

BMV officials provided a breakdown of all license transactions in the past four years for Tippecanoe County, including renewals, replacements and other transactions. The highest number of transactions in those years occurred in 2008 with 46,509 total transactions — almost equal the number of license expirations alone in 2012.

BMV spokesman Dennis Rosebrough estimated the number of total license transactions in 2012 to be around 63,000. That means that if the BMV were open 260 days in 2012 — each Tuesday through Saturday excluding holiday closures — staff members would have to see an average of 242 people a day to keep up with demand. And that doesn’t include services outside of driver’s licenses, such as license plate renewals.

As a result, the bureau has been stepping up statewide efforts to raise awareness for what BMV spokesman Graig Lubsen called customer choice options, including the ability to renew licenses online or through automotive dealers. The bureau also has started sending happy birthday cards encouraging those with soon-to-expire licenses to renew early.

“We’re trying to start awareness,” Lubsen said.

The rush has been years in the making and results from the Real ID Act of 2005, which was

Article source: