By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Starting in January, Delaware drivers renewing their licenses may find themselves getting their driving privileges extended three extra years.

Right now, Delaware drivers have their licenses renewed for five years at a cost of $5 a year or $25.

But, a bill adopted by the Legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year, calls for extending driver licenses to eight years with no annual fee change.

Jennifer Cohan, director of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, says the idea is to reduce wait times at DMV offices and reduce costs.

But, she says, because the state has more than 650,000 drivers, people will be moved randomly by a computer program to the eight-year license renewal program.

“The random pick will help us level out the demand over these few years, because we have peak years in demand. For example, 2007 was one of those years and we know that those individuals are coming back in 2012.”

But some, she says, will automatically go on the eight-year program. “All of the teen drivers coming in, all of the new drivers and out-of-state transfers will all have eight years. It’s just those that are renewing and it is a complete random computerized choice of how many years that that person would have.”

The new law also keeps fees the same. “We’ve been able to maintain our $5 per-year structure so if the person comes in January and they are assigned a five-year-license, it’ll be $25. If it’s a six-year license, $30 and so forth to the eight years.”

She says all drivers will be moved over to the eight-year renewals by 2016.

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