If you're looking to renew your license or take care of other DMV business online, it could end up costing you if you don't use the right website.
That's what happened to Whispering Pines resident Ken Burditt. He needed to renew his North Carolina driver's license, so he went online and filled out the form of what he said he thought was the DMV's website.
"I got on the website, and it said give us your name, your address, your credit card," Ken said. He followed the instructions, paid, and waited a few weeks.
"I hadn't heard anything, and I called the DMV and she said what color is the website and I said orange, and she said that was not a real website," Ken said.
Instead of going to the official NC DMV site, Ken had gone to one of several privately owned websites that have no affiliation with the state. Some of these websites make money selling step-by-step guides for DMV paperwork, information that you can find for free on the DMV websites.
Before you put any of your personal information on the website, look carefully at the site itself. If a website is privately owned, they must disclose that, so read the fine print at the top or bottom of the page. Government websites will end in .gov, but privately owned ones will be .com or .org.
As for Ken, he eventually got to the official N.C. DMV website, put in his information and paid. "Twenty minutes later I had a temporary driver's license that I could drive and in a weeks' time I had my license," Ken said. Now he wants to make sure others don't waste their money.
"The $16 I can live with that, but I can't live with the fact that my credit card was out there with somebody that I really didn't want to have my credit card," Ken said.
To make sure you don't make Ken's mistake, simply be careful when googling.
The official N.C. DMV website offers online license renewals, but make sure the website you are on has a ".gov" address and says "The Official North Carolina DMV Office" at the top.
Are you using the real DMV website? If not, it could cost you