The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced Wednesday it is "making a more efficient use of its resources in southeastern Tennessee by reassigning staff at the Chattanooga Driver License Reinstatement Center to serve citizens at other driver services centers in the Chattanooga area that issue new and replacement licenses."
The restructuring of resources means the Chattanooga Driver's License Reinstatement Service Center will stop issuing reinstated driving privileges. The last day of service at the center is Nov. 15.
“After reviewing the number of people served at this center, and the needs of the other centers in Hamilton County, it made sense to restructure the services we offer in Hamilton County in order to provide the best service we can to the most customers,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “However, we will monitor the restructuring and are willing to look at other reinstatement options in the area in the future,” Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.
City Judge Russell Bean said that will cause a hardship on local citizens. He said in a letter to Commissioner Gibbons:
I have just been notified that you are closing the Hamilton County Office for the reinstatement of driver’s license. This is going to create a tremendous hardship on citizens in Chattanooga/Hamilton County to get reinstated on their license. I notice from your website that you are keeping your offices open in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis. I really don’t see how these Hamilton County citizens are going to get to Nashville or Knoxville to get reinstated since they don’t have a driver’s license to drive up there. The Hamilton County Center is directly on a bus line here.
I do hope that the Department of Safety realizes that this is just going to create more people driving without a driver’s license. Also for those citizens who don’t have a license then they cannot get liability insurance and this just exacerbates an already tremendous problem of people driving in our state without insurance I did also notice on your website that you are going to continue to have Reinstatement Centers in Greene County and Obion County. I point out that Hamilton County is a much larger population than those particular areas where you are leaving the Centers open.
Please give us an explanation down here as to why you are closing this Reinstatement Center.
Chattanooga City Judge
cc: Gov. Bill Haslam
State officials said through September, the staff at the Hamilton County Driver License Reinstatement Center completed a total of 4,426 transactions this year. That is compared to the 27,828 transactions completed at the Bonny Oaks Driver Services Center and 18,397 transactions completed at the Red Bank Driver Services Center during that same time period. The later centers do not handle reinstatements. These centers only handle license issuance and replacements.
Citizens who need driving privileges reinstated may continue to go online (https://apps.tn.gov/tndlr/) to pay reinstatement fees, then email (My.DL@tn.gov) or fax (615 253-2093) the confirmation paperwork to the department. Once confirmed, the citizen may visit any driver service center to have his or her license reissued.
There are five alternate driver's license reinstatement centers across Tennessee, including:
- West Knoxville Driver's License Reinstatement Center, 430 Montbrook Lane, Knoxville
- Greene County Driver's License Reinstatement Center, 1210 Hal Henard Road, Greenville
- Davidson County Driver's License Reinstatement Center, 1601 Murfreesboro Road, Nashville
- Obion County Driver's License Reinstatement Center, 1604B West Reelfoot Avenue, Union City
- Shelby County Driver's License Reinstatement Center, Hickory Ridge Mall, Suite 502, 6075 Winchester Road, Memphis