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Oregon DMV adds new tool to register emergency contacts

Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services has added a new online tool that allows Oregonians with driver’s licenses and identification cards to list up to two emergency contacts. [Oregon Department of Transportation photo]

Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services has rolled out new online tools intended to help police more quickly reach a person’s next of kin in the event of an emergency.

Starting this week, those with Oregon licenses can add up to two emergency contacts 18 or older through its DMV2U online system, according to a news release from the Oregon Department of Transportation. The system allows each driver to add up to two contacts.

Only Oregon law enforcement will have access to the information the driver submits, according to ODOT.

State legislators created the emergency contact service through the passage of House Bill 3125. Rep. Lily Morgan, R-Grants Pass, and Sen. Jeff Golden, D-Ashland, were among the bill’s sponsors.

The emergency contact service is meant to ensure that crash victims’ families first hear from police about the status of their loved one — not through a mobile phone video posted on social media.

The service at DMV2U.Oregon.gov does not use passwords. Instead, drivers will need to provide their last name, date of birth, ZIP code, driver’s license or ID number and a portion of their Social Security number.

More than 20 DMV services are available online through DMV2U, including license renewals. For services that must be done in person — such as creating a Real ID required to fly starting in May 2023 — DMV2U can be used to make appointments.

The DMV this week added a new option allowing drivers to list themselves as deaf or hard-of-hearing when registering for new licenses or vehicle registrations online.

Enrolling in the deaf and hard-of-hearing indicator is voluntary, and will notify officers of the disability when they run a license number or plate. The indicator was added earlier this week in response to a 2016 needs assessment conducted by Western Oregon University, which showed that more than half of deaf and hard-of-hearing Oregonians they surveyed had difficulty communicating with police.