Tennessee residents needing to renew or replace their driver’s licenses could be using self-service kiosks by November.
The Commercial Appeal reported that people could be heading to such places as libraries, police precincts and county clerk’s offices to use the kiosks. State officials also are in talks with a national retail outlet chain where some kiosks may be located.
Michael Hogan, director of the state’s Driver License Issuance office, said the goal is to give customers more options and easy access, as opposed to going to driver service centers.
“It just makes good business sense,” he said.
The intent is to keep such routine business as renewals, duplicates or replacement licenses away from the state’s driver centers as much as possible.
Out of the 4.6 million Tennesseans with driver’s licenses, Hogan said, 745,000 each year are renewals. Officials hope to have 80 percent of the renewals done using the kiosks.
Officials will be installing 40 self-service, stand-alone kiosks in urban areas that often have long lines of people waiting to conduct business. In addition to the kiosks, driver centers also have 72 iPads that are mostly self-service.
With the iPad, residents can do almost all the work necessary but must know their driver’s license numbers.
Both self-service kiosks and the iPads will require a resident to have either a credit or debit card.
Each of the 40 kiosks costs about $45,000.
It’s part of phase one of a $4 million project designed to make getting a driver’s license less painful. The state driver center’s workforce will remain the same size with no expected cutbacks.
“The examiners we do have will focus on the more complicated or more difficult transactions,” Hogan said.
Each kiosk has high-tech facial recognition that even identical twins apparently can’t fool.
“It ensures that the person we have on file is the one standing in front of the camera,” Hogan said.
By next summer, Hogan said, Tennessee will roll out phase two of the $4 million project, called EZ Visit. It will enable residents to do most of the work online and even have set appointments at a driver center.