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Drivers services to extend hours starting next week

Customers can get licenses until 6:30 p.m. on weekdays

POSTED: February 27, 2009 12:45 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Visitors enter the Georgia Department of Driver Services on Thursday afternoon at the Aviation Boulevard office to test for their drivers license or keep current on their license through renewing. Soon the DDS will extend its operating hours to better suit customers.

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The folks at the Department of Driver Services have noticed something about their customers: They don’t like spending much time waiting to get their license.

"I’ve been here four times before and it takes forever to get your license," said Shelby Carman, a 20-year-old Gainesville resident who was waiting to renew her license Thursday.

"The wait time definitely bothers me, especially if you have to go to work or school or something."

As a way of making the process more bearable for all its customers, the Gainesville Department of Driver Services at 1010 Aviation Blvd. is planning to offer extended hours beginning Tuesday.

"We’ve been monitoring the number of transactions and (customer) traffic patterns at several centers all over the state," said Susan Sports, Department of Driver Services public information officer.

"We’ll be launching alternate hours at a few locations that will help us to adequately cover high demand periods."

While the center will extend its hours during the week, the weekend hours have been scaled back.
Beginning next week, the Gainesville office will open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 7:30 a.m. until noon Saturdays.

Sports says that reducing hours on Saturdays was necessary to streamline operations.

"We noticed that customers typically come first thing in the morning on Saturdays and there really wasn’t much traffic in the office during Saturday afternoons," she said. "It wasn’t the most efficient use of our examiners’ time to have them stay when the department wasn’t busy, so we’ve adjusted the schedule to fit our customers’ patterns."

The goal of the adjusted hours is to lessen customer wait time.

According to Jeffery Parker, Gainesville DDS Customer Service Center manager, 96 percent of customers were assisted in 30 minutes or less last week.

While waiting 30 minutes for a license bothers some people, others like Kassandra Carman say that’s not so bad.

"I used to live in Canton and our (license office) was way bigger than (the one in Gainesville) and the wait there was ridiculous," said Carmen, 19, as she waited with her cousin, Shelby Carman. "I wish we had extended hours there when I was younger and trying to get my license after school, and my parents couldn’t leave work early,"

"The wait here isn’t so bad here how, but the new hours would make it a lot easier for a lot of people, especially parents."



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