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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is preparing to introduce a new electronic system for renewing and issuing licenses with new features that include a laser-engraved 3-D photo of the driver.

Officials at the state agency also say their Next Generation Secure Driver License System being introduced early next year will reduce wait times for most transactions at DMV offices to less than 30 minutes. Current wait times average about 34 minutes.

The changes are part of a national push to introduce new security measures and decrease the possibility of identity theft. The new licenses to be issued to North Carolina’s more than 6.9 million drivers will also include machine-readable technology and backgrounds with variable colors and patterns officials say will
make the ID cards virtually impossible to counterfeit.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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