Department of Driver Services Launches Mobile Licensing Program
|Saturday, August 6, 2005||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
Improved Access for Indigent Georgians to Receive Photo Identification
ATLANTA – Department of Drivers Services (DDS) Commissioner Greg Dozier and members of his staff are attending today’s march celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act in downtown Atlanta. Commissioner Dozier will announce new customer service initiatives that will make it easier for indigent Georgia citizens to get free photo identification cards, making them eligible to vote.
Today Commissioner Dozier announced the following initiatives that are currently underway at DDS:
- DDS will begin the Georgia Licensing on Wheels (GLOW) program, a mobile licensing bus that will travel the state of Georgia with the capability to issue up to 200 photo identification cards per day.
- DDS will begin accepting appointments at select sites for organizations with group needs for photo identification cards (AARP, nursing homes, churches, etc.)
- DDS will begin to issue photo identification cards at certain designated locations on Mondays. Previously all DDS locations were closed on Mondays.
- DDS will soon begin a statewide public information campaign to educate Georgians throughout the state on the most efficient way to get a photo identification card for voting and other purposes. The campaign will include public service announcements and publications across the state.
“Casting a ballot is the foundation of our representative democracy and this sacred right deserves safeguards to prevent fraud,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “As the state takes steps to insure the integrity of Georgia’s voting process, we are implementing new services to provide everyone access to the identification required for voting.”
Governor Perdue announced his plan to reorganize the DMVS through HB501 in January 2005. The Governor signed the bill into law on May 2, 2005. The Governor’s budget included approximately $1.5 million for additional driver’s license examiners. In July 2005 Governor Perdue announce several new initiatives that will improve customer service for Georgia motorists, and help Georgia citizens without a driver’s license get the needed documentation for voting purposes.
On July 1, 2005, Governor Perdue announced new initiatives such as:
Free Identification for Indigent
DDS is offering indigent citizens with no valid driver’s license a free photo identification card for voting purposes. Documentation needed for a photo identification card is the same that is needed for a driver’s license, which can be found on the agency’s web site, www.dds.ga.gov. Indigent citizens must apply for cards in person at a DDS CSC.
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 Customer Service Center (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.
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
In July DDS began accepting credit cards and debit cards at the Covington and Conyers, Lawrenceville, Lithonia and South DeKalb offices. DDS will begin implementation statewide, adding a minimum of ten locations per month. This timeline will allow DDS to have the system implemented statewide within six months.
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 became 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.
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.