Setting aside half a day to wait at the Georgia Department of Driver Services is a thing of the past in Gainesville.
Hall County’s new DDS Licensing Center opened on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 1010 Aviation Blvd.
Spencer Moore, commissioner of the Georgia DDS, describes the new center as a “state-of-the-art facility” that was built to accommodate Gainesville's growing population.
“We have improved the efficiency in our process here in the Gainesville community with this facility, as well as our technology,” Moore said. “We’re really excited about it.”
For the past two years, Moore said the DDS staff in Gainesville reached their goal of serving 95% of customers in 30 minutes or less. With the new facility, he expects people to be served in less than 30 minutes — even on Saturdays.
The former 30-year-old DDS center, which will be demolished in the next couple of days, had the capacity to serve 11 people at a time. The new DDS, located next door to the old one, has increased that number by adding five more work stations, which will allow 16 people to be served at once.
The room where driver’s knowledge exams are held has also increased its size from taking 11 to 19 people at a time.
Moore said one of the major improvements at the new DDS includes a third commercial drivers license site. Once the former DDS building is demolished and leveled out, the third CDL space will take its spot.
Out of Georgia’s 67 DDS centers, Moore said only 10 are CDL sites. The extra testing pad will give the Gainesville facility room to have three road tests at the same time.
“CDL testing is one of the biggest things we do in Gainesville to help a lot of different companies ensure they have the workforce needed to get products to the market,” Moore said. “We’ll have the ability to have 25 additional CDL tests a week in the new facility, which is absolutely awesome.”
Instead of filling out a paper application when customers come into the DDS, Moore said the new building allows people to type out their information on a computer. He said this not only reduces a person’s time in the facility, it decreases mistakes made by staff, including misinterpreting handwriting.
The Gainesville DDS has also ramped up its security by adding more cameras.
All in all, Moore said he is happy with the progress that has been made in Gainesville and the partnership with Carroll Daniel Construction, who helped implement the project.
“If you do need to come into a facility, this is probably the best facility at the moment in the entire state because it has the latest technology and the latest operational procedures that will make that visit very smooth,” Moore said.
The DDS center’s hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
For more information about the Gainesville location, visit dds.georgia.gov.