Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in the department's weekly newscast N.C. Transportation Now.
More than 500,000 North Carolinians Saved Time Renewing Driver Licenses Online
In the past year, more than 500,000 North Carolinians have saved time by going online to renew their driver licenses. Nearly 250,000 customer hours have been saved by those who have renewed online, and almost 125,000 staff hours have been freed to help others visit DMV offices.
While many people have taken advantage of DMV's online services, about 70 percent of the customers who are still visiting an office could complete their transaction online. Before going to a DMV office, visit ncdot.gov/dmv to find out if you can conduct your business online.
Online driver licenses services are just one of the many changes DMV has introduced over the past three years through Governor Pat McCrory's" Driving Change" initiative.
DMV now accepts debit and credit cards, and is upgrading its offices to make driver license transactions quicker. The agency also offers extended and Saturday hours at some driver license offices, and customers renewing their license no longer have to take a sign test. Additionally, to better serve remote areas of the state, DMV has also introduced new, state-of-the-art mobile offices.
Governor McCrory Announces Expansion of Foreign-Trade Zone
Governor Pat McCrory announced this week that southeastern North Carolina has received approval to expand Foreign-Trade Zone 214, making the region more attractive to businesses looking to relocate or expand and increasing its competitiveness in global trade. Foreign-trade zones are located near U.S. ports of entry and stimulate economic growth and development by offering companies tariff and tax relief on the storage and operation of commercial merchandise within the zone.
The service area has been expanded to include 22 counties in southeastern North Carolina and three new magnet sites run by a third party. Along with the expansion, a new business model was also approved that reduces the time it takes companies to attain foreign-trade zone status from months to just weeks. This fast turnaround will help attract companies that cannot afford to wait months for approval of their site.