“Last week, we had an average wait time of one hour and five minutes at the Carrollton office,” said Susan Sports of the Department of Driver Services. “On Thursday, the average wait time was 46 minutes. It’s steadily improving and we’re watching it very closely because we want to cut down on the wait time as much as possible. We think it’s moving in the right direction.”
Alaina Terry, Villa Rica, was at the Carrollton Driver Services office Friday to get her first driver’s license. She said it took her about an hour and 45 minutes to get through the line. She was outside the building at 5 p.m., waiting on her driving test.
“Once you get to the window it goes pretty fast,” Terry said. “It just takes awhile to get to the window.”
He father, Eric Terry, said he spent an hour and 30 minutes at the office Thursday, making an address change.
A new Georgia law went into effect July 1 which requires anyone renewing a driver’s license or state ID card, or obtaining a new license, to bring documents showing proof of identity, proof of Social Security and two proofs of residency. This was the final step required for Georgia to meet the Federal Real ID Act of 2005, which followed recommendations of the 9-11 Commission,
Sports said one problem area has been additional documents needed when a person has changed his/her name, for example when a woman changes her name after marriage.
“They need to bring the legal name change documents, in addition to their birth certificates,” she said. “For example, with a marriage name change, the woman will need an original or certified copy of the marriage license. Photo copies are not acceptable.”
If applicants don’t have the required documents, they are given a 120-day temporary license until they can return to the Driver Services office with the documents.
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“That means you’ll have to make two trips instead of just one,” she said.
Sports said Driver Services is also conducting an education campaign to help inform drivers of the new changes and what documents they will need to bring.
“Last Friday, we mailed out our first batch of postcard reminders to people whose licenses are up for renewal in the next two months,” she said. “From now on, people due for renewal will receive these postcard reminders, which directs them to our website for a list of the required documents.”
The website, www.dds.ga.gov, has a custom checklist, where applicants can check the situations that apply to them and receive personalized lists of the documents they will need to bring.
Sports said Tuesdays are always the busiest days at DDS offices since the offices are closed on Monday.
“If you can, plan your visit later in the week,” she advised.
“This is a one-time process,” Sports said. “Once you bring your license in for one renewal, you won’t have to do it again.”
Sports said drivers who are eligible for online renewals can go back to that process on later renewals.
The Carrollton Department of Driver Services office is at 512 Old Newnan Road. The office is open Tuesday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon.