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Tennessee driver license changes ahead

6:16 PM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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A sample of what a temporary paper license in Tennessee will look like.

(WBIR, Knoxville) It is going to take Tennessee drivers longer to get a hard copy license.

All state driver license bureaus will hand out a temporary paper license to people getting a license for the first time, or renewing.

Before, applicants could apply for a driver license and receive a hard copy on the same day. Their card will now be mailed to them within 20 days.

Currently, the change is being implemented in Knoxville.

"We're replacing a very outdated issuance system that we have now," said Wanda Adams, executive project manager for the Department of Safety and Homeland Security Driver Services Division.

Adams said the new process, a central issuance system, will cut down on wait times. "So the process will be much smoother where every two examiners will have their own camera. So the applicant will be dealing with the same examiner and doesn't have to move between lines," Adams said.

State officials hope it will prevent fraud.

"By being mailed to a residence, that helps us verify that person is living at that residential address which is one of the requirements for issuance of a Tenn. driver license," Adams said.

According to Adams, the paper license works just like a hard copy and is even accepted at airport checkpoints.

Some Driver Service Center employees will train for the central issuance system on Saturday.

The new equipment will also be installed at the Strawberry Plains DMV that same day.

By July 26, all Driver Service Center locations and County Clerk partners in Knoxville will have transitioned.

Nearly 30 states have adopted the central issuance system.

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