TN Department Of Safety Announces Decrease In Drivers License Wait Time

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced that the average wait time at state driver services centers has decreased so far this year compared to 2012. 

The average wait time from January 1 – June 30 at centers statewide, excluding reinstatement centers, fell from 34 minutes in 2012 to 31.

5 minutes in 2013. There was a slight increase, however, from the first quarter of 2013 in which the average wait time was 30.5 minutes compared to the second quarter when the wait time averaged 32 minutes.

The decrease in wait time for the first six months happened while the number of statewide transactions at driver services centers increased. Driver license examiners served 621,405 customers from January 1 – June 30, 2012.  In the first six months of 2013, the number of customers grew to 626,211. 

“We are monitoring these figures very closely. Reducing the wait time at our driver service centers is a priority so when we experience an increase we act immediately to identify the reasons,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. 

Gibbons attributed the increase in the second quarter of 2013 in part to the increase in handgun carry permit applications as well as the installation of new equipment. 

During the first six months of 2013, the department accepted 86,334 handgun carry permit applications at driver services centers, compared to 40,503 applications accepted during the first six months of 2012. That is an increase of 113 percent. 

The department continues to install new equipment and software at all driver services centers in preparation for a new central issuance process of issuing driver licenses. While this new process is expected to help reduce wait times in the future, the installation of the equipment is causing some delays. 

The Driver Services Division is also in the process of hiring additional part-time employees to help the centers at peak hours. Funding for the positions was appropriated in the current state budget. 

“The new equipment and additional staff should help us in the long term provide better and more efficient service to our customers,” Mr. Gibbons noted.


River Gallery Has Opening Reception For November Exhibit Nov. 4

The River Gallery November exhibit will feature Christina Goodman, Scott Hill and Tracy Sharp.  The opening reception will be Friday, Nov. 4, from 6:30-8 p.m.  The artists will be present at the reception.    Review for the artists:     Inspired by the Renaissance period, Christina Goodman creates precious treasures ... (click for more)

Tennessee Women's Political Caucus Endorses Wilkinson For State Senate

The Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus, in affiliation with the National Women’s Political Caucus,  endorses Khristy Wilkinson for the Tennessee State Senate, District 10 position on the ballot for the Nov. 8.  “Women will be the deciding factor this election, it is crucial that in this political climate we continue as an organization to support women in ... (click for more)

School Board Set To Vote Next Thursday On Choice Of Superintendent Search Firm

The County School Board is set to vote next Thursday night on picking a search firm to choose a new school superintendent. First, there will be more discussion at a work session next Tuesday. On Thursday night, several board members urged going ahead and making a choice. The panel voted 5-4 recently to hold up while discussing further the type of leader the board will be trying ... (click for more)

Firefighters Respond To Commercial Fire In Alton Park

The Chattanooga Fire Department on Thursday responded to a fire at Metalcasting Minerals Technologies at 3406 Alton Park Blvd. with five fire companies. Battalion Chief Ashley May said a hopper was full of combustible materials and a small area was on fire. Firefighters opened the hopper's hatch and applied large amounts of water and foam to the burning coal dust-type material. ... (click for more)

Literacy Is Critical

Government spending is often portrayed as a freight train "quickly running out of track." And there is some truth to that statement. There is not an endless supply of money to fund every good idea that comes along, and we must acknowledge that problem. Fiscal responsibility is a must.  That is why spending on priority issues like public education is important. You can spend ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prayer Over Despair

As a strong proponent of early voting, I joined hundreds at the Hamilton County Election Commission headquarters on Amnicola Highway yesterday to exercise what I consider one of our greatest freedoms – “for the people, by the people.” Candidly, I have never been as upset or as disappointed over my choices for President in my life. Locally I am fine with our candidates but to pick ... (click for more)