Question: How much does it cost to renew your driver's license to get the random number? I just renewed my license last month.
in long lines to
Answer: Renewing an unexpired license just to get a random number only costs $5 but please, please, don't come in now to renew your license unless absolutely necessary, implored David Mau, the city's assistant motor vehicle and licensing administrator.
He said "we've been inundated" since last Tuesday, when the four counties began issuing licenses without the previously required Social Security numbers. Under a new law that took effect Jan. 1, new or renewed licenses will be given random eight-digit numbers preceded by the letter "H."
So many people who don't need to are getting new licenses that what used to be a 15- to 20-minute process has turned into a 3 1/2- to 5-hour ordeal, depending on where you go, Mau said yesterday.
"We are imploring those who do not need to renew their licenses to please allow those who really need to renew them to get processed," he said.
The problem is that the licensing computer is taking too many "hits" throughout the day -- statewide -- that not only is the licensing process slowed, but other areas, such as motor vehicle registration, are being affected as well, he said.
Mau also emphasized that the change in the law does not require people to get new licenses. Some people standing in line believed it was mandatory for them to do so, he said.
Supervisors are trying to find ways to speed up the renewal process, but with an "antiquated" computer system, there's only so much that can be done, Mau said. "We are trying to redo the computer programming to see if it can be speeded up."
Q: We have a stack of Christmas cards which our office received over the holiday season. We would like to know if, as in the past, anyone has any use in recycling them for children's picture books, etc. I tried contacting Cindy Delgado, whom you have mentioned previously, to find out if she were still creating those books. However, her number had been disconnected.
A: Just about the time your query came in, Delgado called to say she was taking a hiatus this year. She had taken on the volunteer task of creating books out of used Christmas cards for hospitalized children from the late Helen Daniels.
Delgado is expecting a child next month and just moved into a new house. "With two other children (ages 4 and 11), sports and school," she will have her hands full this coming year, so is asking people to hold on to their cards for the next year or so. She hopes to be back making the books in time for Christmas 2002.
She thanked all the people who sent her cards last year. This past Christmas, she said she was able to make and deliver 15 books to children at Shriners Hospital and nine to Ronald McDonald House.
An alternative: Send your cards to Yvonne Hepton, of East Oahu Realty, who said the cards would be used to make books for hospitalized children. Call her at 395-1760 or send the cards to her office, 6600 Kalanianaole Highway Suite 114, Honolulu 96825.
Daniels, of Kailua, started making picture books with donated Christmas cards for children at Shriners, Kapiolani Medical Center and Ronald McDonald House. Every year, people would ask Kokua Line for the address of the "Christmas Card Lady" so they could send her their cards.
In 1997, Daniels was forced to give up the time-consuming project because of ill health. She died last June at age 82.
Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org