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Camera cards? HUH?

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Mar. 14th, 2011 | 10:43 am
posted by: journalismgirl in pittsburgh

This is likely a stupid "I'm not from Pennsylvania" question.

I moved here about 3.5 years ago from New York, and am renewing my license for the first time. What on earth is this camera card nonsense? When I renewed online, Penn DOT's site told me I'd be receiving my camera card in the mail, and to take it to a license center.

What is the camera card for? I can't find anything on the website -- or when I Google it, for that matter -- that says why I need this. Or why Pennsylvania has them. Do I seriously have to go sit at a license center even though I renewed online?

*grumbles*

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Comments {19}

Stacey

(no subject)

from: tiggrchic7
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
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A camera card is the paperwork telling a license center that you are allowed to get a PA license. If you have not had a PA license before you will have to have your photo taken so they can give you a PA license. So yes you do have to go to a license center, they can't just transfer your photo from out of state. Depending on where and when you go, its not a huge deal. I went to east liberty AAA center for my renewal and was out of there in like 10 mins.

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Collecting Blues and Greens

(no subject)

from: journalismgirl
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
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I already have a Pennsylvania license -- this is my first *renewal* here.

It's just so bizarre -- in New York, you have to redo your vision test every renewal, but your picture can stay the same until you request a new one.

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Stacey

(no subject)

from: tiggrchic7
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
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nope renewals require a photo as well. I guess its to make sure your photo actually is somewhat recent to what you currently look like since they are usually once every 4 years or so. Personally I like having a new photo as by the time renewal rolls around I'm starting to go "who is that chick on my ID?" but I also change my hair length and color a lot I guess lol.

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sorcha_ruel

(no subject)

from: sorcha_ruel
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
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As far as I know you do need it. I belong to AAA to that's where I got my picture taken for the actual license.

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Alisa

(no subject)

from: sleepsong
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
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Oh my god, your icon just made me jump in fright!

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jenn

(no subject)

from: jenn
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
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The camera card lets you skip through the lines at the DMV and go right to the picture-taking part. It's weird, but yeah, you need a new photo whenever you renew your license.

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Collecting Blues and Greens

(no subject)

from: journalismgirl
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Ah, OK. That makes it more reasonable. I was really confused about the benefit of renewing online if I was just going to be in line anyway.

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jenn

(no subject)

from: jenn
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
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I was confused about the whole thing as well, being a transplant myself. After about 4 years I finally gave up the license I got when I lived in AZ, which didn't expire until I was SIXTY.

People kept telling me about the AAA thing when I was up for renewal, but the AAA center I randomly picked didn't take photos-- so I had to go to the DMV with my camera card anyway.

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Jane

(no subject)

from: whatparanoia
date: Mar. 18th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
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Don't you know? People in Arizona don't age.

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ariannawyn

(no subject)

from: ariannawyn
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
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I recommend going to a AAA center instead of the DMV. The lines at the DMV are crazy. When I renewed last winter I walked into a DMV on a Saturday morning and there was a *TWO HOUR* wait. I walked out again, went to the AAA in Monroeville a few days later on a weekday at lunch, and was done in 10-15 minutes. I think you need to check which AAAs have photo centers, but I know the one in East Liberty does.

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Duck, Duck, Broken Goose

(no subject)

from: brokengoose
date: Mar. 16th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
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My experience has been that on a Saturday morning, EVERYWHERE, including AAA, is busy 'cause that's the only time when most people can spare a few hours. On the other hand, I was in and out of the Downtown DMV in 15 minutes on a weekday morning.

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pghbekka

(no subject)

from: pghbekka
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
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Seconding what jenn said. It's not always clear where to go or that you don't have to wait in the general line when you go to the DMV, so don't be shy about it (as someone who's been shy about it and stood in a line for half an hour before realizing I could have had just a five minute wait).

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Jennifer

(no subject)

from: amethystjade
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
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Good to know what I have to deal with when it's time to renew - I haven't been here long enough to renew yet.

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allartburns

(no subject)

from: allartburns
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
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Just a caution on AAA, they have steered me wrong on a title transfer and now I get to do a ton of paperwork. It should be easy to get your license renewed, but if they start talking about how you can save money or save paperwork, tell them you want to do whatever it is the right/legal way.

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(Deleted comment)

Pat Lewis

(no subject)

from: lunchbreak_pat
date: Mar. 14th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
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I've had bad luck with the wait at the East Liberty AAA, personally. If you live/work/shop in the suburbs, those centers tend to be far less crowded, in my experience. Last time, I went to the Monroeville AAA and there wasn't a single person in line ahead of me.

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Gail

(no subject)

from: sweetpiglet
date: Mar. 15th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
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That AAA location is also very nice to tourists/former residents who need maps because they were "just positive that one road didn't used to be one way- when did that change? Was it when they put up metal detectors at Kennywood?"

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Trin

(no subject)

from: lenina
date: Mar. 15th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
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If you go on a day they only do pictures, you can get through super fast. Also, the most busy dmv locations are downtown and the one in Monroeville, I think. I went to one on Rodi Road and was out in 10 minutes to get my new license.

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Duck, Duck, Broken Goose

built-in address verification

from: brokengoose
date: Mar. 16th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
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I don't know if this is an intentional part of the design, but it occurs to me that "online renew plus mailed camera card" ensures that your address is correct and makes it harder for anyone else to impersonate you. (And, if they were so desperate to steal your identity that they'd also steal your mail, it would become a federal crime.)

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umbluemusic

Re: built-in address verification

from: umbluemusic
date: Mar. 17th, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)
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Actually, Identity Theft is always a federal crime. There was an Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 that the FTC had some part in that basically made it so that any knowing act of using someone else's identity is a crime I think. I mean, my father opened a credit card in my name, not through stealing my mail or anything, and if I wanted to I could prosecute him federally for it.

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