Drivers can make next of kin information available through WYDOT

Wyoming drivers now have the option of making next of kin information available to emergency response personnel and law enforcement officers by supplying the information to WYDOT Driver Services when getting or renewing their driver license.

The option is available as a result of legislation passed last year.

“I think it came more from the public than anywhere else, and the 2011 Legislature approved the change effective Jan. 1,” WYDOT Driver Services Manager Don Edington said. “We had 414 people sign up for the option during the first week it was available.”

When drivers choose the option, the back of their license will indicate next of kin information is on file. Emergency response personnel and law enforcement officers can then obtain that information when needed by contacting WYDOT Driver Services or the Wyoming Highway Patrol communications center.

Drivers taking the option must sign an application that designates one person they want contacted in the event of an emergency, a phone number and address where they can be contacted, and that person’s relationship to them.

Minors who request the option must have a parent or guardian sign a release giving permission to keep the information on file and approving the contact information submitted. Edington said a few other states, including Pennsylvania and Texas, also offer the next of kin option.