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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Easier renewal: New DL kiosk placed

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jim Winter installs the software on the self-service drivers license kiosk inside the Bedford County Courthouse on Friday afternoon.
(T-G photo by Jim Davis) [Order this photo]
A new self-service kiosk for renewing driver's licenses was installed Friday on the first floor of Bedford County Courthouse. It's part of a statewide effort that Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security officials hope will reduce wait times at driver's license testing centers.

The kiosk is only for renewal of expired Tennessee driver's licenses or replacement of lost licenses.

The license-holder pays at the kiosk by credit or debit card and poses for a photo. A receipt is printed out which serves as a temporary driver's license until the real license arrives in the mail a few days later.

No fraud allowed

The kiosks are networked with state driver's license records and have facial-recognition software which compares the person posing for the new photo with the previous license photo to avoid fraud.

The new kiosk is now available for use whenever the courthouse is open.

People getting Tennessee licenses for the first time must still go to the driver's license testing station on Railroad Avenue, and renewals and replacements will still be available there as well.

Station stays

According to Bedford County Mayor Eugene Ray, there was a risk of losing the driver testing station due to new cameras which the state wanted to install.

There wasn't room for the new equipment in the station as it's now configured, so later this month a wall will be knocked out and pushed back, taking some square footage away from the county Emergency Management Agency office and giving it to the driver's license testing station.

The station may need to be closed for a few days for the renovation, said Ray, but he is pleased that it will remain in Shelbyville. Ray had been working with state officials for weeks to address their space needs and prevent the station from closing.