State wants to hire more employees to shorten wait times at driver’s license centers

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Long wait times and not enough help might sound familiar if you’ve tried to get a Real ID.

Now there are plans to change that by hiring more employees for the state’s busiest driver services centers.

Those locations include:

Summer AveShelby DriveHart LaneHickory HollowClarksvilleFranklinMurfreesboroLebanonBonny OaksGallatin

News4 spoke with Lisa Lindsay who thought an hour would be enough time to get a Real ID. She found out quickly it wasn’t.

“Walked in. There were already so many people waiting. I knew it really wasn’t going to happen,” Lindsay said.

The state started issuing Real IDs in July. You’ll need that to fly domestically without a passport next year.

Since launching Real ID, wait times haven’t been pretty.

“I don’t know if more staff or a different process is gonna be what it takes, but there’s certainly a problem in there and it seems completely unacceptable,” Andrew Flanigan who waited in line said.

Flanigan went to a driver services center on Hart Lane in Nashville. He needed to renew his commercial driver’s license.

“I just successfully got my renewal and the time stamp on that is 4:05. So, I’m just shy of five hours I spent here today,” Flanigan said.

News4 took the concerns to Paula Shaw who is the assistant commissioner of driver’s services.

That’s under the Department of Safety and Homeland Security in Tennessee.

“It saddens me. It really does. We’re all in a position where we understand it’s difficult for them,” Shaw said.

Shaw wants to add 80 more employees to help with wait times. They would go to the busiest centers in the state including Hart Lane.

It’s an idea Lindsay can get behind.

“With the influx of people moving to Nashville, I don’t see any other way to do it,” Lindsay said.

Shaw said 29 people have already been hired temporarily. The hope is to keep them as part of the 80 she wants to bring on board.

Governor Bill Lee will have the final say about that when he goes over the budget.