New driver's license office now serving Union County
The new driver's license office is now open and serving Union County residents. Conveniently located on Glen Gooch By-Pass in Blairsville, Georgia, the center issues new driver's licenses, renews licenses, and provides photo-IDs. Reinstatement services are expected to be available in the near future and will be an added bonus.
Larry Garrett has worked closely with the Department of Driver Services (DDS) to iron out details and establish a time-table for the project. Garrett says, "Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris worked for many months to get this service available in our area. Now Towns and Union County drivers can get a license without a trip to Blue Ridge or Gainesville. People can save on gas and avoid long lines, too."
Day-long visits to out-of-town DDS offices are a thing of the past since people started taking advantage of the Blairsville office. Union County resident Geneva Mathis recently stopped by to renew her license. It took approximately 15 minutes from start to finish including parking.
The Blairsville driver's license office is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. although testing is not done after 4:30 pm .
Written tests for automobile, motorcycle, and commercial licenses are given at the new office. Road tests for automobiles and motorcycles are also available by appointment but commercial road tests must be taken in Gainesville .
Directions to the new Driver Services center are as follows: From Hiawassee take 76 west, pass the Blairsville Wendy's, to the first stop light. Take a left on Glen Gooch By-Pass. Go up the hill. Union County High School is on the left and the new Driver Services Center is on the right.
From Blairsville pass Home Depot and take a right at the next stop light. Go up the hill. Union County High School is on the left and the new Driver Services Center is on the right.
The Georgia Department of Driver Services accepts cash, Master Card, Visa, and Debit cards. Money orders and cashier's checks must be in the exact amount required and no more than 60 days old when presented.
Original documents are required for most services and photocopies are not accepted. For complete driver services information, consult the Georgia driver's manual. Please note that roads tests are given by appointment only. Call the toll-free number (866) 754-3687 Monday through Friday from 7 am to 4 pm. to make an appointment.
Driver's Licenses New Rules and Fees
The cost of renewing a Georgia Class C driver's licence is now $20 for five years and $35 for ten years. A five dollar discount is available to motorists who renew licenses by mail, the internet, or the telephone. If eligible to renew by mail, internet, or telephone, then credit cards are accepted (American Express, Discover, Master Card and Visa). If visiting a Customer Service Center, such as Blue Ridge Service Center # 27, cash or money orders are required.
In August 2005, Gregory C. Dozier, Commissioner of DDS (the newly created Department of Driver Services), announced plans to deliver the ultimate in customer service. Dozier said his agency is prepared to surpass all expectations and carve a new reputation as being customer focused and professional. Dozier expressed appreciation to Governor Sonny Perdue and to members of the Georgia General Assembly for the support to make licensing and testing more efficient.
In May of 2005, Gov. Perdue signed House Bill 501, one of his major legislative initiatives. This bill formed the Department of Driver Services (DDS). House Bill 501 also dismantled the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety (DMVS) and placed the responsibility of issuing driver's licenses with the newly formed DDS. The remaining services of DMVS such as tags, titles, and vehicle safety enforcement, were moved to existing agencies including the Dept. of Revenue, Dept. of Public Safety, and Dept. of Transportation.
This week, Rep.Charles Jenkins was available for comment. He said, "It is early in the program, but so far everything seems to be running smoothly."
If eligible, Georgia drivers will receive a Renewal Application by mail from the DDS, sixty days prior to their current license's expiration date. To be qualified, the DDS must have a valid photo, fingerprint and signature saved on digital file, and no outstanding cancellations, suspensions or revocations on record. Changes such as name changes, can only be made in person at a Customer Service Center. The Renewal Application will be mailed to the driver's last known address. If they have moved, they must visit a Customer Service Center within 60 days to update their mailing address. Renewal Applications will not be forwarded and lost ones will not be replaced. There is one free address change allowed during each renewal cycle. The organ donor discount program and renewal vision testing will be discontinued, except as required for special licensing circumstances such as drivers with bi-optic lenses and drivers 64 and older. (First time applicants are required to take the eye exam.) Georgia Identification Cards will be valid for 5 or 10 years.
The Web site at www.dds.ga.gov is streamlined and provides current information in a clear and concise format. A successful transaction takes less than five minutes, and the replacement license will be mailed in about thirty days.