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Kiosks speed driver's license renewal

staff report • Jan 23, 2013 at 10:44 AM

JOHNSON CITY — The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has added an option for renewal or replacement of driver’s licenses.

TDSHS Commissioner Bill Gibbons announced Wednesday that the Driver Services Division has installed 30 self-service driver’s license kiosks at various locations across Tennessee.

Three of the self-service kiosks are located in East Tennessee — one in Elizabethton and two in Johnson City.

Residents may renew or replace an existing driver’s license or state identification card and pay for the transaction with a credit or debit card at the kiosks.

The machines take photographs for use on the driver’s licenses. As a security measure, the kiosks perform facial verification with the image on record. The license holder leaves the kiosk with a paper interim document for use until the secure driver’s license or ID card is received.

The interim license is valid for 20 days. The secure driver’s license or ID card is mailed to the applicant’s home within 5-7 business days.

“We are giving citizens another choice when it comes time to renew or replace their driver’s licenses,” Gibbons said. “Many of the kiosks are located at alternate locations, redirecting traffic from our driver service centers and freeing up the staff there for more complicated transactions. Our ultimate goals are better customer service and reducing the average wait time in driver service centers to no more than 20 minutes.”

A total of 40 self-service kiosks are scheduled to be installed and operating statewide by the end of February.

The kiosks are primarily located in urban areas with larger populations.

The TDSHS has partnered with various local governments and several AAA branches to provide alternate locations for the kiosks, providing more sites to complete simple renewal and duplicate services. While the majority of kiosks are installed at alternate locations, some have been installed at various driver service centers.

The state first purchased three kiosks to use on a pilot basis using federal grant funds for a total of $165,000. The remaining 37 kiosks were purchased for $45,000 each, a total of $1,665,000, using state system development funds.

Self-service kiosks are in use in East Tennessee at the following locations:

• AAA, 3000 Peoples St., Johnson City.

• Washington County Driver Service Center, 4717 Lake Park Drive, Johnson City.

• Carter County Clerk’s Office, 801 Elk Ave., Elizabethton.

A complete list of all self-service kiosk locations can be found at http://www.tn.gov/safety/dlmain.shtml.

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