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Could New York State see black and white driver’s licenses?

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Albany/HV: Could New York State see black and white driver’s licenses?
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A change in vendors could mean that New York drivers will be issued black and white licenses instead of the color ID cards we've become used to. YNN's Lori Chung has more on why some critics are questioning the logic of the change, particularly when it will cost the state millions more than it’s paying right now.

NEW YORK STATE -- "Makes absolutely no sense to us at all," said Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola.

County clerks struggle to understand why the DMV choose a vendor that plans to print driver's licenses in black and white instead of color and at a cost higher to tax payers.

Merola said, "It seems like it's going to be less secure and in addition to that, it would make sense if you were telling me you were going to save $38 million dollars. We're going to be spending an additional $38 million."

"Every dime we spend as taxpayers is money that we don't have that we need to start being more frugal with and spend wisely," Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione said.

The DMV's contract with its current license producer expires next May. But though the company's bid to retain the state's business was lower, the DMV approved a plan by Canadian based CBN. The vendor, along with another company that submitted a cheaper bid, have filed suit.

“I think people are confused by the expense of it,” said New York State DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala. "You can go online and see the process, but we'll be releasing a statement at the appropriate time."

We caught up with DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala Wednesday afternoon. While she declined to comment on pending litigation then, she did send us a statement reading, “The two losing bidders were not selected because their products were inferior with respect to document security and anti-tampering measures that are standard for licenses. We are confident that the vendor we have chosen will provide the best value for the citizens of New York.”

The state comptroller's office is now reviewing those bids and what the agency decides will determine if the deal with CBN is a go or if the DMV has to try again.

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