Driver’s license center reopens in original location

by Sarah Fay Campbell

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The Newnan driver's license office is back in its original location in the Eastgate shopping center on Bullsboro Drive.

The office had moved to a temporary location next door as the result of flood damage from a roof leak on Nov. 1. Coweta County, the landlord, and the Georgia Department of Driver Services worked to open the temporary location after asbestos tile and tile mastic were discovered under rain-soaked carpets.

Construction crews finished the work on Dec. 16, and the office opened on Dec. 17. That was just a few days before the 45-day lease on the temporary location expired.

"It's really great to be back in our original location," said Clyde Mitchell, manager of the Newnan DDS customer service center. "The temporary location was challenging" but the team worked well there. "This is such a well-coordinated and cohesive team now," Mitchell said.

Mitchell, who became center manager this summer, said the office's goal is to get customers in and out within 30 minutes. DDS centers are supposed to be customer service based and DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell "drums that idea into every customer service center," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said they often get customers from other counties who choose to come to the Newnan center.

The construction was "pretty uneventful," said Eddie Whitlock, associate county administrator. "It all seemed to be pretty smooth."

The facility got all new flooring, and the built-in cabinets were raised so that new flooring could be put underneath them.

"The whole partnership, from the beginning of the damage to completion, was just ideal as far as government working together to solve a problem," said Susan Sports, state spokeswoman for the DDS. And the shopping center "was very accommodating."

If they hadn't been able to open the temporary location, "the other option would have been to close and not have service there until the construction could be completed," Sports said. "And that would have been a huge inconvenience."

"It was a great alternative as far as a temporary setup, but we're glad to be back," she said. "We appreciate everybody who helped with it."

Sports reminds everyone of the services and information available on the DDS website, dds.ga.gov.

It's particularly important for people to be aware of the required documents they will need when renewing their licenses. If you don't already have a license that meets "Secure ID" standards, you'll need to bring several documents proving your identity and address, as well as documents showing any name changes. Information on what is needed is available on dds.ga.gov.

Secure ID licenses are marked with a gold star.

Even though the Secure ID requirements have been in place for 18 months, many Georgians still don't know about them. "We have many people come in that have no idea," Sports said, "even though we do mail postcards out telling everybody what they need to bring in."



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