Drivers wait hours to get IDs, Tennessee promises to speed up process

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A frustrating morning for many waiting hours to hear their ticket called at Nashville Driver Service Centers Wednesday, not only getting Tennessee’s new real IDs, but also technical problems.

Tennessee Homeland Security said the state is experiencing more than double the amount of people at driver service centers nationwide.

The commissioner promised Wednesday to make it easier for residents to get a real ID, something that will be mandatory for everyone in the state by October 2020 if they want to board a domestic flight or enter a federal facility.

“I came to get a real ID, so we stood in line, it’s pretty confusing on what we’re supposed to be doing. The directions are pretty horrible in there,” said Paul Collins, a Bellevue resident at the testing center on Hart Lane Wednesday.

“The lady told us we could go around the corner and get the gold star for the Tennessee I.D. after I was in there for 40 minutes,” he explained.

The state hoped the process of getting a real ID would be kept simple on iPad kiosks.

“Once I knew where to go, it was self-serve,” Collins said, “And it took me five minutes to get one.”

Except others weren’t so lucky. You can’t use the kiosk if you’re from out of state or need an entirely new ID.

“I didn’t bring everything they wanted me to bring,” said Dominic Chimera who was on his second trip to the center within weeks, “Two proofs of residency, social, birth certificate, I didn’t have all that.”

Nick Conley was also on his second visit, “They told me that the NES bill that I had, I couldn’t even use that, I printed it off their website because it didn’t have a stamp from NES on it. It has to be from the mail, but I do paperless billing, so I need to go to NES to get a stamp on it,” he said.

Residents were especially upset Wednesday when the computer system shut down from more than an hour.

“They just said our system is down, sometimes it may take ’til 12, sometimes it may be a little longer, they don’t know,” said East Nashville resident Kenyatta Rogers, “Like nobody could take their test, nobody could take their picture, nobody could do anything but sit there. And some people left.”

By about noon, Conley walked out unsuccessful, “Now I’m going to work! I guess I’ll come back, but I don’t know when. At some point, I got to at some point,” he said.

Homeland Security said 29 new employees trained Wednesday to help in the busiest driver service centers. with a total of 55 to start in the next few months.

They’re also trying to get help from county clerks, third parties and mobile units.

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