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Lines linger at Department of Driver Services

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan
After waiting for 6 hours Juliana Roca of Buford gets her picture taken for her renewed license by examiner Joe Smitherman at the Georgia Department of Driver Services building in Norcross on Friday. The requirements have changed state wide when applying for license renewals and reinstatements causing long delays.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan After waiting for 6 hours Juliana Roca of Buford gets her picture taken for her renewed license by examiner Joe Smitherman at the Georgia Department of Driver Services building in Norcross on Friday. The requirements have changed state wide when applying for license renewals and reinstatements causing long delays.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan People anxiously wait their turn to renew their driver's license at the Georgia Department of Driver Services building in Norcross on Friday. The requirements have changed state wide when applying for license renewals and reinstatements causing long delays.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan People anxiously wait in line to renew their driver's license at the Georgia Department of Driver Services building in Norcross on Friday. The requirements have changed state wide when applying for license renewals and reinstatements causing long delays.

NORCROSS -- With aching legs, Debbie W. Drew trudged from the Department of Driver Services building.

She arrived at 10 a.m., and stood in line until 4 p.m. before she could get her driver's license renewed. "I feel like I've just been through a war," Drew said, laughing. "I had no idea I was going to be here all day long."

Under new rules, customers applying for or renewing a driver's license must go to a Department of Driver Services customer service center in person and present an original or certified birth certificate, Social Security card and two documents proving where they live. The requirement was already in place for people applying for their first license or ID card.

The new rules extend the requirement to renewals and reinstatements. Also, the first renewal after the law change must be done in person, not online.

Many customers waiting in line on Friday were feeling the lag.

Peggy Walker of Lilburn took her 15-year-old son to a Gwinnett center for the third time on Friday to get his learner's permit.

"The first time we did not have exactly what they asked us for ... and the second time we were pushed away from the line because too many people were here," she said. "So this is our third attempt at getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning and getting ready to be here at 7 and there was already a line of probably 100 people."

Quinton Hash of Gwinnett County stepped out of the Department of Driver Services shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday. He said he had only been waiting a few minutes, because he wanted to find out what papers he needed. Upon learning, he said he would return on Monday with all of his proper documents.

"I saw some people here that said they'd been waiting all day," Hash said.

Susan Sports, spokeswoman for the state Department of Driver Services, said the federal government required states to develop more secure identification in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The state has been implementing various changes to licenses and identification cards at different phases. The state has until 2017 to get license or ID holders over age 50 to comply.

Sports said the new process will become smoother with time.

"Anytime we have a process change, there's a learning curve with the examiners, meaning it takes them longer to complete a transaction," she said. "I don't expect us evening out until next week."

--The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments

notblind 1 year, 9 months ago

Our government has run amok. I was born in Atlanta GA nearly 60 years ago. Got my learners in Cobb nearly 45 years ago. Now the next time I need to renew I will have to go through a bunch of crap just to prove to them that I am who they already know I am.

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Coolray 1 year, 9 months ago

All in an effort to "hate" your fellow man. God forbid one "illegal landscaper" get a drivers license. This is the price of hatred!

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notblind 1 year, 9 months ago

God forbid one illegal alien landscaper getting drunk and killing some American citizen. Naw, never happen in this perfect world. This is the price of not sealing the border 50 years ago. Now the haters are so well established that it will be a super pita to get them back across the border.

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R 1 year, 9 months ago

Hatred? ENFORCEMENT isn't hatred...

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roaads1 1 year, 9 months ago

It was already broken a little so in fine government fashion let's break it completely.

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Jan 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank your Republican party for these outrageous methods designed to prevent those more likely to vote for Democrats from voting. Add to that government layoffs and we have this mess. You want it corrected? Research your state representatives, make this type behavior an issue on the ballot and vote out the ones responsible.

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notblind 1 year, 9 months ago

The only people that will not be able to vote are the ones not eligible to vote. Could massively impact the ability of democrats to get elected so they fight it with lies and nonsense.

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Jan 1 year, 9 months ago

Please do a little research before making absurdly stupid statements. For some, acquiring the birth certificate us impossible through everything from mismanaged files to courthouse fires that destroyed records. Because of improved records keeping, these are more likely to effect the elderly, those that typically understand the advantages of Medicare and the Republican efforts to destroy it. The greatest voter fraud is blocking someone from voting that has the legitimate right and desire to vote. That is what the Republicans are trying to do. If you believe in the democracy of our founding fathers, you would not support such partisan tactics.

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R 1 year, 9 months ago

You mean only crooks and cheats vote Democratic these days? Who would've thunk it.

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jack 1 year, 9 months ago

My father voted a straight Republican ticket until the day he died.

Then he voted Democrat.

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NewsReader 1 year, 9 months ago

Leave it to Jan to consistently and persistently deliver his rhetorical nonsense. He doesn't let an opportunity pass him by to take cheap shots at Republicans for the ineptitude of his very own party. Isn't that right Jan?

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Jan 1 year, 9 months ago

Thank you for, once again, proving that the lack of any facts leads to a volley of insults. Though, I must admit, It looks like most responders to this topic do no like facts either. Let me assign some homework. Research the number of fraud cases where a wrongful identity was involved and then check the stats on the number of people being thrown off the voter rolls or disallowed for lack of a picture ID. When, as in Texas, a hunting license is legal voter ID but a College ID is not allowed. This makes it obvious what group is targeted with such laws. As for party affiliation, I am an independent. The inability to find a reasonable Republican on the ballot in Georgia does not make me a Democrat. There are some reasonable Republicans around, unfortunately too many of those have been voted out in recent years as the party has shifted to a no compromise position and pressuring Republicans that want to be reelected to toe the new party line. This is not democracy.

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mustardandbiscuit 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey, if the Republicans messed it up this bad, just think how bad it would have been if the Democraps had gotten hold of it?!

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JV 1 year, 9 months ago

What these opponents of the voter ID laws never tell you is striking: There is no right to vote. “But the Fifteenth Amendment…!” Nope. It only says you can’t be denied voting because of your race, color, or because you were once a slave. Ditto for women on number 19.

This doesn’t phase the liberals and race-baiters who demand these voter ID laws be overturned. The State of Georgia offers a free photographic identification card for non-drivers who need one.

Picture ID cards are required to enter federal, state, and local government buildings, to board an airplane, to cash a check, to obtain a library card, buy a gun. In like manner, voter IDs are essential to protect the vote. Without them, immigration anarchy and voter fraud will continue its relentless spread across the nation.

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notblind 1 year, 9 months ago

I heard it well put the other day. Liberals demand that everyone have a picture ID for buying a gun or driving a car or getting on a plane but they demand that no one should be required to have a picture ID for voting.

I also heard another good one. Why do liberals think their constituency is too stupid or lazy to properly sign up to vote ?

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Katrina 1 year, 9 months ago

JV, The state ID may be free, but a certified copy of a Georgia birth certificate costs $25.

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kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

We have now gone from a fast and easy place to go for a license to a horrible place to go. All the result of a man-made law. Anything over 2 hrs is a joke and a disgrace for the government.

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kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

this is to stop the illegals easy access to a driver's license with fake id's. The county should hire more part-time people to handle the long lines. Of course they will blame the budget for not doing that, but they keep the tenure people hired with big salaries and pensions.

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foghillwalker 1 year, 9 months ago

Georgia Department of Driver Services. These would be State workers, not County. Hard to believe I know, but it is not always the County's fault.

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Katrina 1 year, 9 months ago

When I was a teenager, my dad drove me down to the DMV and presented my birth certificate at that time in order to get me my learner's permit. Later I moved to Georgia and turned in my out-of-state license for a Georgia license. I have now been driving here for more than 25 years. Who did they think I was all these years?

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A_Gwinnetian 1 year, 9 months ago

This was 2 years ago. I cannot even IMAGINE now......

SECOND DMV Trip to convert a Texas Driver's License to a Georgia license:

DMV Lady: I need your Marriage License, your Birth Certificate, and your Texas license for identification. Your Texas Driver's License is not sufficient for ID purposes.

ME: Texas had no problem taking my Georgia License as sufficient ID to convert it over.

DMV Lady: We are Georgia...we need to verify you are who you say you are.

ME: Fine..here's the docs. Please make sure my name is correctly spelled. Texas didn't spell it right. (that is another story)

DMV Lady: Well...we cannot correct your name because it's on the Texas License that way and we have to duplicate what is on that license.

ME: But, you have all these other documents that you insisted I give you SHOWING you the Texas License has my name wrong.

DMV Lady: I'm sorry. But, these other Documents are not sufficient to change your name.

ME: My name is spelled correctly on all these other documents you made me give you to identify me and wrong on a STATE license that you said wasn't sufficient to identify me, but you have to put the same name from the "insufficient" identity document?

DMV Lady: Yes, ma'am. Make sure you sign your name the way I've put it on the license. That will be $21.00. Thank you.

ME: But, you are not putting my legal name on my driver's license!

DMV Lady: Sorry ma'am. Cash, check, or credit?

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A_Gwinnetian 1 year, 9 months ago

Comment: I now see that the name issue was probably for cross-referencing ease and a software necessity with GA. However, GA made me surrender my Texas license...so they have my TX DL# somewhere in the database. My final thought is: The whole exercise was still full of unnecessary stupid.

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