(WPRI) — While it is often easiest to renew your driver’s license online, it is also easy to end up on unofficial websites that are designed to make you think you are on the DMV’s real site.
This scenario happened to one of our Call 12 For Action volunteers when Kath Dykstra when she went online to renew her driver’s license. Weeks passed, and still no license.
Kath checked her bank statement and noticed the license renewal charge had gone to London.
When Kath logged online, she was somehow re-directed to mydriverslicenses.org. The site shows several options, including “renew driver’s license.”
“I don’t remember that process of going to another site. I was just following an icon that said license renewal.”
As she clicked through the site, she never noticed the below message written in small font, at the very top of the screen.
“MyDriverLicenses.org is a privately owned website that is not owned or operated by any government agency.”
So, when Kath thought she was paying to renew her license, she was actually buying an electronic book with information about the DMV.
According to the Rhode Island DMV, Kath is not alone in this scenario. The agency has received several similar complaints and said, “The DMV makes every effort to have such advertisers removed from the internet; however it is impossible to protect everyone from every deceptive site.”
If you’re logging on to do anything through the DMV, be sure to you are on the website www.dmv.ri.gov.
You can also double-check that you’re in the right place because all of Rhode Island’s websites say “Official State Site.” And if you’re re-directed, just log off.
As for Kath, Call 12 For Action Reporter Susan Campbell said she spoke with a customer service representative for the mydriverslicenses.org and he promised a full refund within 5 to 7 days.