Drivers frustrated at wait time to reinstate driving privilege - WKRN News 2

Drivers frustrated by long wait times to reinstate driving privilege

Posted:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Driving is a privilege in Tennessee which can be revoked if residents do not follow the law.

Those residents who find themselves in violation of the law can have their license revoked and may have to go to one of six Reinstatement Driver Service Centers.

"Reinstatement is for individuals who have lost their driving privilege and they are coming to the state to have them reinstated," explained Director of Driver Services, Michael Hogan.

The Department of Safety only has one reinstatement center in Middle Tennessee located at 1601 Murfreesboro Road in Nashville.

Since it is the only reinstatement center in the Mid-State the line can get long. Kelly Gay was among those who waited in line on Monday.

"For some reason I couldn't do it on the computer or nothing," Gay told Nashville's News 2 adding, "I had to come done here and wait up here half a day and miss all day of work again, over nothing."

Hogan said drivers can save time by following the directions sent by the Department of Safety or the court system when they have an outstanding citation.

The first step is to satisfy the citation with the courts which will then electronically send a clearance letter to the Department of Safety.

"Once that has been cleared you can use the online service or use the iPad to pay the reinstatement fee and then you can go to any driver service center and have your privilege reinstated," said Hogan.  

Driver William Wessels told Nashville's News 2 he does not think the Department of Safety keeps accurate records.

Wessels was caught speeding on August 15, 2011 and was not able to pay and satisfy his fines with the court until December 6, 2011.  

He thought the matter was closed until last Friday when he was stopped for not having a working blinker. It was then he learned he was driving on a suspended license.

"He said, ‘Your turn signal is out.' And my license was suspended, so he had to take it and be thankful I wasn't arrested for a suspended license," Wessels told Nashville's News 2.   

The Department of Safety acts on information from the court systems and Hogan says drivers should always request and make sure the court notifies the Department of Safety when a fine is paid.  He says drivers can log onto the State of Tennessee Drivers License Services Web site and check their status.

"It actually list if [a driver] has outstanding citations," said Hogan.

If a driver has an outstanding citation, then they will have to wait in person at a Driver Reinstatement Center.

According to Hogan, it can be a lengthy process because helping every driver can last between 20 and 60 minutes.

In 2007, the Department of Safety went from three to six reinstatement centers across the state.

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