TN Dept of Safety adjusts operations to continue offering services
MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — As businesses and agencies attempt to reopen, many have shifted how they serve customers.
One of those is the Tennessee Department of Safety’s Driver’s Services Division. Due to COVID-19, they had to restrict their in-person driving tests, and they’re just now catching up.
“It is difficult to impossible to maintain social distancing when you’re in the vehicle with a person,” said Paula Shaw, Driver’s Services Assistant Commissioner. “We are having to catch up the backlogged individuals who were displaced as a result of that period of time.”
Workers will be wearing full protective gear when administering those driving tests.
Shaw says one of the most needed services is license renewal. But there’s now an easier way to do that.
“Just for example, you can renew your drivers license online, or even your CDL license online, or order a duplicate license or renewal,” Shaw said.
Those services had to be in-person prior to COVID-19, but an executive order changed that.
Shaw encourages anyone who needs to go the DMV to check and see if their services can be done online.
If you still have to go, there are social distancing rules in place, helped by a new appointment system.
“There is also a text feature with that, so when they do arrive to the centers, all they need to do is check in and then they can return into their vehicle to wait, so that they can limit their exposure,” Shaw said.
Shaw also says that the deadline to apply for the updated Real ID has been pushed back to October 2021.