DOJ: News Release

Registration Renewals Now Require Driver License Number

HELENA – Officials with the Motor Vehicle Division of the Department of Justice said today that beginning this month, Montana vehicle owners will notice an important change to the vehicle registration renewal notices they receive in the mail.

As of Sept. 1, drivers must include their driver license number as part of the owner information on the renewal notice. Dean Roberts, Motor Vehicle Division Administrator, said the information will be used internally, to help distinguish between vehicle owners with the same or similar names. The driver license number will not be printed on the vehicle title printout.

Roberts said the change is another step in the development of the Montana Enhanced Registration & Licensing Information Network (MERLIN). MERLIN is an automated, innovative system to process licenses, license plates and vehicle titling and registration and it will eventually replace the outdated system in place now.

Roberts said that ultimately, all motor vehicle and driving record information will be linked together in a database. Whenever an individual registers a vehicle, renews a driver license or reviews a driving record, all of the names, addresses and other relevant information connected to that individual’s unique customer account are updated. The 2003 Legislature initially approved the project. It is funded by a secure Montana Board of Investments’ loan and the estimated total project cost is $22.5 million. The target date for completion is April 2008.

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