Three new driver license kiosks in region to speed up renewals

Becky Campbell • Jan 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Three new self-service kiosks for driver’s license and photo ID renewals are now available in the area, and state officials say it’s the speediest way to get the task completed these days.

“What we’re trying to do with the kiosks is expand the number of places citizens can go” to renew their license, Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons said Wednesday as he demonstrated the machine at AAA East Tennessee.

Two kiosks are located in Washington County — at AAA East Tennessee, 3000 Peoples St., and the Johnson City Driver’s Service Center, 4717 Lake Park Drive — and one is in Carter County at the county clerk’s office, 801 Elk Ave.

Gibbons said with these three, there are now 30 self-service kiosks across the state and 10 more will be installed in the future. The sites for those have not been determined, he said.

The touch-screen technology is similar to another self-service license renewal system located at the Driver’s Service Center in Johnson City, but this machine also takes the person’s photo and issues a temporary paper license that is valid for 20 days.

As a security measure, the kiosks use facial verification technology to compare the photo to the person’s image on record.

Within five to seven days, the Department of Safety will mail the permanent driver’s license to the person’s mailing address.

Last year the Department of Safety installed an iPad kiosk at the service center. Drivers can enter their renewal information and pay the fee at the iPad with a credit or debit card, but then wait to be called for a technician to take their photo and issue the permanent license or photo ID.

“It has been very popular, very successful,” Gibbons said of both the iPad and stand-alone kiosk renewal systems.

“We’re not doing this because of the iPad technology. We were (already) planning this,” he said about the new kiosks. “We kind of hit on the idea of installing the iPad” as the kiosk was under development.

AAA Regional President Tim Wright said he’s pleased that AAA can offer the alternate location for driver’s license renewal to its members and the public.

“It’s not only available to AAA members, but for the general public as well. There is no charge to use the kiosk,” Wright said.

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