NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Help is on the way for those waiting at the state’s driver’s license centers possibly by Monday.
All-day waits confronted some, but the commissioner overseeing the centers says more workers at the centers start Monday.
“We are trying to address those issues. We ask the public to be patient with us,” Commissioner Jeff Long of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
Stung by reports of up to all-day waits at drivers license examiner stations in mainly middle and west Tennessee, the commissioner hopes there will be immediate relief with 29-new examiners who just finished training Wednesday.
“They will be in their seats Monday morning next week,” added the commissioner.
The issue dominated Wednesday’s budget hearings for Commissioner Long’s department.
A variety of factors were blamed for the waits.
Commissioner Long said that Tennesseans were going to the driver’s license centers at nearly twice the national average to get a Real ID–the federal documentation required by October 2020.
While 29 new personnel at the driver’s license stations start Monday, they are part of 55 new workers on the way soon for more help.
“We’ll finish filling the rest of those 55 in the next couple of weeks, get those people immediately into the centers,” said Commissioner Long.
After hearing other fixes–such 25 more personnel at driver’s license stations hired next year and county clerks helping with issuing Real ID’s—Governor Bill Lee said he was satisfied with what he heard about fixing the aggravation at driver’s license center.
“I think they have a strong plan,” he told reporters after the department’s budget hearings.
Other things mentioned as fixes for the long waits included permanent staffing of four new drivers license express centers in the Middle Tennessee area and permanent staff for the department’s two mobile units to help at driver services centers.
Commissioner Long also mentioned possible outsourcing of some duties to help cut lines at the driver’s license centers as a potential long term solution.