The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security has added another option for citizens seeking to renew or replace their driver's licenses. Commissioner Bill Gibbons announced Wednesday that the Driver Services Division has installed 30 self-service driver license kiosks at various locations across Tennessee.
Citizens 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 technology takes citizens’ photographs for use on the driver's licenses. As a security measure, the kiosks perform facial verification with the image on record. The citizen 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 five to seven business days.
Currently, there is one kiosk located in Hamilton County, but the department plans to add more locations to the Chattanooga area in the future.
“We are giving citizens another choice when it comes time to renew or replace their driver's licenses. 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,” Mr. Gibbons said.
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 department 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.
While the addition of self-service kiosks is one of several new options to improve wait times and enhance customer service, the department is also taking many steps to ensure higher security in driver's license issuance. In the coming months, the department will begin using a central issuance process, in which driver's licenses will be mailed from a central, secure location to the citizen’s home. Also, the department will soon use facial verification technology to help reduce fraudulent issuance of driver's licenses and cut down on identity crimes cases.
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.
The Driver Services’ self-service kiosk in use in Hamilton County is at the Bonny Oaks Driver Service Center, 6502 Bonny Oaks Drive, Chattanooga.
A complete list of all self-service kiosk locations can be found on http://www.tn.gov/safety/dlmain.shtml.