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Opinion: Efficiency at this government office was a pleasant surprise
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A new Georgia Department of Driver Services Licensing Center opened on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 1010 Aviation Blvd. in Gainesville.

When I read reporter Kelsey Podo's article about Gainesville's Department of Driver Services, I hoped her description of the expanded facility and improved customer service was accurate, because I remembered the agonizingly slow process that I encountered there previously. 

Soon after reading her feature story, I realized I needed to go to DDS to request a correction, because a DDS employee had put the wrong county of residence on my license — meaning I would not be able to vote in Hall County. 

My schedule was tight that Friday, so I went at noon (which I would never have attempted under the previous system). 

Much to my delight, DDS Commissioner Spencer Moore, quoted in Kelsey's article, was right when he said most transactions would be handled in 30 minutes or less. Mine was, because I headed back to my office in only 20 minutes. 

Granted, the first step in the process — registering on a computer and providing relevant information — baffled me briefly, although I am well versed in technology professionally. Fortunately, a nearby employee patiently walked me through the steps. 

Once I finished registering, I sat with a ticket number in hand. An announcer summoned me to a work station before I could even get reading material out of my briefcase. 

Yes, this is a government agency. You've probably heard, and maybe even used, the sarcastic quip "pretty good for government work." Well, the Gainesville Department of Driver Services doesn't deserve a derisive remark like that, because the service there beats the stereotype by far. 

Instead, I praise the commissioner and his staff for transforming a previously laborious and annoying visit into a customer-friendly event.

Bill Lampton

Gainesville

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