State lawmakers angry about Tennessee Driver Services Center wait times

Nov 1, 2019

Sparta Sen. Paul Bailey (R) grills Tennessee Department of Safety officials about state Driver Services Center wait times during a joint Fiscal Review Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Oct. 31, 2019.
Credit capitol.tn.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- State lawmakers say they’re getting an earful from Tennesseans fed up with long wait times at state driver’s license stations.

Tempers grew short Thursday as state Department of Safety officials testified before a joint Fiscal Review Committee about the problem.

Sparta Senator Paul Bailey bristled when officials claimed the average wait time at Tennessee Driver Services Centers is 15 minutes.

“That’s BS and ya’ll know it. ...and as Senator Yeager has alluded to, in a rural area, people taking off from their job to come there and then to wait five and six hours?”

Safety officials noted several problems causing the long wait times, including understaffing, equipment trouble, underperforming vendors, and new federal requirements for a more secure driver’s licenses.

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