DPS reminding public to update their address for next-of-kin notifications and more

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As officials struggle to make next-of-kin notifications and more, they put forward a passionate plea to Oklahoma residents to update their address with DPS.

Just this week, the Los Angeles County Sheriff called out media members for releasing the news of Kobe Bryant’s death before they were able to notify family.

While those next-of-kin notifications are difficult to make already, the Department of Public Safety says if you don’t update your address with them, that process can take even more time.

Troopers say even though this is something you’ll likely never think about, it’s something that can be vital when every second counts.

“We don’t want them to find out some other way or find out through the media,” said Lt. Kera Philippi with the OHP. “If it is the last few minutes, last few hours, that is important for us.”

Philippi has unfortunately had to make those dreaded knocks on the door, letting family members know their loved one didn’t make it or that they need to rush to the hospital because they might not have much time left.

“It’s the last little thing that we can give a family member really, so we want to make sure that we make that possible for them,” she said.

That’s why they’re reminding – and pleading for – you to update your address with them.

You can do it online or via the mail so it’s updated in their database.

Or you can actually get your license changed.

Either way, you need to do it within 10 days of your move.

“That’s pretty quick,” said DPS Public Information Officer Sarah Stewart. “When you’re moving, you’re thinking about packing your boxes, you’re thinking about switching your utilities all that kind of stuff but this is something that by law you’re required to do.”

Stewart says updating your address impacts other areas too.

They use whatever address they have for you for all notifications, such as if your license is revoked, a stolen vehicle is recovered or if a CDL driver needs to update their medical certification.

“The last mailing campaign we had on that, half of those were returned to us because they were the wrong address,” Stewart said.

A big problem for a small change with consequences ranging from fines to missing precious time with those you love most.

“We know, in the back of our mind, the roles could be reversed and I would want to be able to find out as soon as possible,” Philippi said.

Updating your address with the DPS database is free and can be done via the mail or online.

The mailing address is on the back of your license.

It costs $25 if you choose to replace your license.

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