Drivers turning 21 have extra time to renew license

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JOSIE BARTEL
Marion County drivers under the age of 21 will need to renew their licenses when they turn 21-but not on their actual birthday, thanks to a law passed during the 2006 session of the Kansas Legislature.

Senate Bill 554 gives drivers up to 15 days after their 21st birthday to renew their licenses.

The bill was necessary to address a clerical error when Bill 159 was passed in 2003.

Bill 159 stated that all drivers under the age of 21 receiving their first license would receive it in a vertical, rather horizontal, format. The purpose of the vertical license is to help law enforcement officers distinguish an underage driver from an adult driver.

The expiration date of the vertical licenses was to be the driver’s 21st birthday.

But that information was omitted, so a driver now over 21 could be still carrying a valid vertical license.

Bill 554 allows for a time extension for license renewal in the event the driver will turn 21 on a holiday, weekend or any other time Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles offices are closed.

The extension is for 15 days after the driver’s 21st birthday. No early renewals will be allowed.

To obtain an extension, the licensed driver must visit a state or county driver’s license office and ask for one. No fee is associated with the extension.

The driver will receive a card similar to a change-of-address card with the licensee’s name, address, date of birth and date of issuance.

In the event a driver’s license will expire before the driver can reach a Kansas DMV office within the 15-day grace period, the driver may obtain a six-month extension, or can complete the renewal process via fax machine through the DMV office nearest their current permanent residence.

The six-month extension may apply to active-duty military personnel stationed in another state or overseas, or individuals attending college out of state.

Also effective July 1, any new driver under 21 obtaining his or her first license will be charged $20 for each class of license requested, as well as any applicable examination and photo fees.

For example, if a driver wants the normal drivers license and a motorcycle license it would cost the individual $40 plus any other applicable fees.

Any driver who has to renew his or her license before age 21 will be charged $3 plus any additional fees.

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