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Pelham Reacts to New DMV Self-Certification System

PELHAM, N.Y. - Drivers in New York no longer have to retake eye exams when renewing their licenses due to a new Internet application announced by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles . The "MyDMV" application was said to help shorten waiting times and increase customer service throughout the state.

"These changes will make it easier for New Yorkers to use the Internet or mail to renew their driver's license and conduct a number of other transactions," DMV Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala said.

With the new system, drivers can self-certify that they meet vision requirements the same way they do with other medical issues as of Wednesday. The self-certification of vision requirements only applies to drivers renewing a license every eight years and excludes commercial drivers, who will still undergo medical and vision tests twice a year.

Not everyone in Pelham is in favor of the new measure, however. Lois Soccodato, who works at Village Wine and Liquor, said the new system could lead to more problems on the road.

"People might not be honest and a lot of accidents could be caused," Soccodato said.

She added that problems could be avoided if the DMV continued to check people's vision when they renew their licenses.

Eastchester resident Pino Mancini, who works at Pelham Pizzeria and Ristorante, also said the DMV should continue to test eyesight and that the new measure could allow unsafe drivers to keep their licenses. He also expressed pessimism about drivers' use of the new application.

"They'll cheat the system," Mancini said.

New York State DMV Spokesperson Jackie McGinness said the regulation should have no negative impacts for drivers, citing a period from 1993 to 2000 when vision testing was not required in New York.

"Anyone who goes to the DMV knows the lines can get too long," McGinness said. "I think people will understand that this is a convenience for them."

Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C - Goldens Bridge) said though he understood the desire to speed up the renewal process, drivers could handle the time it takes to test vision.

"A reduction in sight can happen," Castelli said. "Overall, it's a bad idea. Eyesight is imperative to driver safety."

Castelli said the regulation was passed through private agencies and was not voted upon.

The "MyDMV" application also brings the services of changing addresses, receiving email reminders when vehicle registration and inspections are about to expire, downloading and printing driving records and allowing parents to monitor their teens' driving behaviors.

Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at ameola@thedailypelham.com.

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