Governor Announces Department of Driver Services Initiatives
|Friday, July 1, 2005||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
Agency Offers Financial Incentives to Motorists to Avoid Long Lines for License Renewal
SANDY SPRINGS, GA – Today Governor Sonny Perdue visited the Sandy Springs Customer Service Center (CSC) of the new Department of Driver Services (DDS) to announce several new initiatives that will improve customer service for Georgia motorists.
“Once these customer service initiatives are put into place, I want Georgians to say their experience getting a drivers license was a pleasure,” Governor Sonny Perdue said. “Efficient business practices and respect for the customer's time will be the top priority.”
Starting today, the first day of the new fiscal year, Georgia drivers will see the following enhancements in DDS services:
Five or Ten Year Licenses
Drivers will have the option of choosing a five-year or a ten-year driver's license or identification card. Those who choose to renew their license or ID in person at a DDS CSC will be charged $20 for a five-year license or $35 for a ten-year license.
Five Dollar Discount for Online, Mail, Telephone Renewals
In an effort to reduce long lines at DDS offices across the state, the agency is offering a five dollar discount to motorists who choose to renew their five or ten-year licenses through the mail, the Internet or over the telephone, lowering the cost to $15 and $30, respectively. As their license expiration date draws near, motorists will receive a renewal application by mail from DDS. At this time, drivers can complete an online license renewal at www.dds.ga.gov .
Veterans Licenses Free, Valid until Age 65
Veterans will not be required to renew their license until they are 65 years old. DDS is proactively contacting veterans prior to their license expiration to offer paperwork for renewal until age 65. Approximately 10,000 of Georgia 's 280,000 veterans are contacted each week. As before, veterans' licenses will be free of charge.
Free Identification for Indigent
DDS is offering indigent citizens with no valid drivers license a free photo identification card for voting purposes. Documentation needed for a photo identification card is the same that is needed for a drivers license, which can be found on the agency's web site. Indigent citizens must apply for cards in person at a DDS CSC.
New DDS Location Downtown
DDS is in the final stages of negotiating a lease agreement for property at the corner of Fulton Street and Capitol Avenue , near Turner Field, to bring a DDS presence back to downtown Atlanta . Last summer former DMVS offices in downtown Atlanta were closed due to structural problems, leaving a void for in-town motorists with license renewal needs. Plans are to open a 5,000 square foot facility staffed with approximately twelve examiners within the next three to six months.
New Payment Options
DDS will soon begin accepting a variety of payment options. Currently, DDS offices can only accept cash payments for license transactions. Within six months, the DDS will begin to phase in the acceptance of credit cards, debit cards and checks at all locations.
New Monday Hours
Currently DDS offices are open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. DDS is anticipating offering road tests to first time license applicants on Mondays at four metro-Atlanta locations. Beginning August 1, 2005, the Shannon Mall , North Cobb, Norcross and Conyers DDS locations will be available for appointment-only road tests on Mondays. According to DDS, opening these locations on Mondays will add the availability of hundreds of road tests each month.
“We are evaluating all of our processes and procedures to simplify our services and make them more efficient,” said Greg Dozier, newly appointed commissioner of the DDS. “This agency is the one system of government that virtually every Georgian must deal with at some point in their lives. We plan on making the experience as positive as possible,” he said.
Governor Perdue announced his plan to reorganize the DMVS through HB 501 in January 2005. The Governor signed the bill into law on May 2, 2005. The Governor's budget included approximately $1.5 million for 46 additional driver's license examiners. DDS currently has 457 examiners, 60 more than it had in January 2005.
There are presently 6.9 million licensed drivers in Georgia . The DDS operates 53 full service centers and three part-time sites. Since May 2002, almost 1.4 million citizens have renewed a license by mail, Internet or telephone.