Tag Archives: wait

Drivers’s License Wait Gets Longer; Another Station Closed

The average wait time at driver service centers in the state of Tennessee for the first quarter of 2013 was nearly 32 minutes, which is up six minutes from the last quarter of 2012, reports Nooga.com.
These figures, released by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Wednesday, also show that the number of statewide transactions increased to 327,114 in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 295,444 in the last quarter of last year.
But the wait time for the first quarter of 2013 is slightly lower than the average wait time for last year’s first quarter, when the average was closer to 33 minutes.
“We are committed to reducing wait times at our driver service centers,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said in a prepared statement. “We are concerned about the uptick in wait times, especially after making such great progress in the last three months of 2012. But we are taking proactive steps to help reverse this trend and help create a more satisfying experience for our customers.”
Gibbons also said that the increase was because of an increase in handgun permit applications, vacant management positions at several driver service centers and equipment failures.
Meanwhile, in other news….
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The state is closing its driver license center in Lawrenceburg.
An announcement from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security said operations will be merged with the driver service center in Columbia on May 15.
There will be, however, a self-service kiosk in the City of Lawrenceburg Administrative Services Building, where drivers can renew expiring licenses or apply to get lost licenses replaced. The kiosk will take photos and accept credit card and debit card fee payments.
First-time drivers or people who recently moved to Tennessee can travel to Columbia or to centers in Hardin or Lincoln counties.
The department is also working with the Wayne and Giles county clerks to offer license renewal and replacement services in those counties.

Dorothy Cooper II??

Ninety-one-year-old Virginia Lasater has voted and worked in campaigns for some 70 years. But Wednesday, according to the Daily News Journal, she ran head-long into the barrier Tennessee’s new voter photo ID law is throwing up for some elderly people.
Recently moved to Murfreesboro from her farm in Lewisburg to live with son, Richard Lasater, she registered to vote Wednesday at the Rutherford County Election Commission office but that afternoon found herself facing long lines at the driver’s license testing center in Murfreesboro. She’s never had a photo ID on her license, even though she’s still capable of driving and goes to Sunday school.
Aided by a walking cane to get around, she quickly decided she couldn’t stand up long enough to wait and her son could find no chairs available for her to sit. Richard estimated a least 100 people were in the building, and workers were “way overworked and way understaffed.” He was told at the help desk there was nothing they could do but wait.
They left, upset about the law and the long lines.
“I’m just afraid people will say it’s too much trouble,” said Mrs. Lasater.
…”It really makes me about halfway mad because I know what’s going on,” says Mrs. Lasater. She’s “absolutely” sure the law is part of a Republican strategy to keep senior citizens from voting.

At Driver’s License Stations: Promises and Skepticism

Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons says says everything is under control at driver’s license stations, where workers are ready to deal with an influx of citizens who now need a state photo ID for voting.
We realize this new law is increasing the number of citizens needing services at the state’s already overburdened Driver Service Centers. To help reduce the wait time for voters who need government-issued photo IDs, these citizens will be placed in the “express service” category when entering a Driver Service Center.
While there will still be some wait time, we intend to make that wait time as short as reasonably possible.

Citizens should just be sure they bring all the appropriate documents, he says.
On the other hand, Gail Kerr is somewhat skeptical.
Promises, promises. That’s what state officials have offered for decades about the long waiting times. Instead, they fudge the numbers by ignoring the time it takes to get to the first clerk. The state also has rules that are just plain dumb.
Ask Glenn Carter, who brought his 15-year-old to Centennial (driver’s license station) to get her permit. They had all their paperwork. But her school failed to fill in her address, Social Security number and father’s name on the proper form. She had an ID with her address, her actual Social Security card, and her father was standing right there with a valid driver’s license. But the clerk made the duo return to Hillsboro High so school officials could fill in those blanks.

‘Top-to-Bottom Review’ of Long Drivers’ License Lines

Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said he’s re-examining how often Tennesseans should be required to subject themselves to the anguish and aggravation of visiting a state motor vehicle office, reports Andrea Zelinski.
Gibbons and his staff are currently engaged in a “top-to-bottom review” of drivers license examination processes and renewal centers with an eye toward transforming them into “customer-friendly” hubs that get people in and out before they noticeably age or descend irreversibly into madness.
The average wait time across the state is 55 minutes, says Gibbons, but that doesn’t even count the hours it takes to stand in lines that sometimes wrap outside the building and leave people in the sweltering heat for hours before reaching the first kiosk to take a number.
In brainstorming ideas to help shorten up the wait to about 30 minutes, Gibbons said he’s considering whether to give more time between drivers license renewals.
He said he’s looking into Arizona, for example, where drivers only need a new photo and an eye exam once every 12 years.
…Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Tracy, meanwhile, said he is looking into a Democratic proposal that died in committee last year that would have changed the five-year renewal period to every eight years.

The long lines at driver license stations come with a new law taking effect Jan. 1 that requires a photo ID to vote.. and a law saying those without a license can get a free ID at driver license stations. The Tri-State Defender recently chronicled a three-hour wait in line at Memphis and questioned whether officials are ready deal with any influx of folks needing an ID to vote.
It’s doubtful that any of the ideas Gibbons has for easing the situation — Zelinski lists several — will have any effect on things before next year’s elections.