HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While delays continue to frustrate people trying to get new drivers licenses or state IDs, city officials say thousands of IDs are being bounced back by the U.S. Postal Service because of invalid addresses.
"A majority of these envelopes are being returned undeliverable. Almost 400 to 500 a month we're getting back to us," said Sheri Kajiwara, director of the city's Department of Customer Services.
Kajiwara says because of new rules under the federal Real ID Act, the postal service is not allowed to forward these identification documents.
"If you use an old address, these documents are not able to be forwarded. Some also are using a friend's address, but if their name is not attached to their address, the post office will not deliver it to them," Kajiwara said.
Kajiwara says this is just another issue adding to the delays, along with an almost 400-percent spike in license and state ID renewals this year.
Makaha resident Monica Chorow, whose husband, Peter, is from Micronesia, says they've been checking the mailbox for his state ID since June.
Peter's temporary ID expired Wednesday.
"Two weeks ago, I tried to reach out to the DMV. I got the appropriate numbers and called. Several times it would ring and no answer. I finally got a hold of someone (last Friday), and they had said that (the delay), in my husbands case, was due to immigration," Chorow said.
Kajiwara says there was a 10-day backlog in processing applications for immigrants and people with medical conditions because those documents require extra verification.
"Those require an additional step. One with the federal government for visas and one with medical clearance with the state. We handled that, and that backlog does not exist now," Kajiwara said.
Chorow says she hopes the issue is resolved soon because the last few weeks have been frustrating for her and her husband.
"Its made it harder now because my husband wants to go to the doctor, and you need a valid ID. He doesn't have one because it's expired. He's tried to buy tobacco, but they won't accept a paper ID," Chorow said.
Kajiwara also encourages people to check their mail before throwing it out. Envelopes containing IDs do not have any City and County of Honolulu address or seal, and may look like junk mail.
The city has set up a special hotline just for these customers.
Those who have not received their plastic license or state ID in the mail after more than six weeks are asked to call 808-768-9128 and leave a name, their address as it should appear on the card, and a call-back number.