NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Governor Bill Lee and other Tennessee officials announced changes to driver's license regulations and to driver's centers across the state on Thursday in response to COVID-19.

The governor said he submitted a request to the federal government for an extension of two months on the deadline to get a Real ID. Other governors also submitted similar requests for an extension, Lee said.

Officials with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security said that drivers' centers would stay open, but would follow CDC guidelines on the number of people that could be in them. Staff members stationed at the front doors will start to limit the number of people in a center at once, officials said.

They are encouraging people who go to a center to wait in their cars for a chance to enter. Centers may use an e-ticketing system to alert customers when it is their turn to enter the building.

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However, customers may not need to enter a drivers' center at all. Officials encouraged customers to use its online portal for driver's license renewals. Licenses that expire between March 12 and May 19 will now not need to be renewed for another six months.

Officials with the department said it will automatically mail out letters of extension to people whose licenses are set to expire soon, saying those letters will need to be carried along with the licenses until they are able to renew them.

Extensions are also in place for other state-issued licenses such as handgun carry permits. 

They also said drivers' centers are being cleaned and sanitized to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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