NASHVILLE (WRCB) -- The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security will open eight of its driver service centers on the first Saturday of October and November to give people interested additional opportunities to obtain photo identification.
Photo ID's are necessary to vote in the upcoming general election. The centers were chosen based on the size of the populations they serve and the response from citizens to centers that were opened on Saturdays before the primary election.
A new state law effective this year requires citizens to present a federal or state-issued photo ID to vote at the polls. The law also requires the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to issue photo IDs for voting purposes at no charge.
As of October 1, 2012, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security had issued 22,933 photo IDs for voting purposes. The vast majority (21,468) of those issued were non-photo driver licenses converted into photo driver licenses, while 1,465 were original photo identification cards.
"Any citizen who needs a photo ID for voting purposes may obtain one at no charge by visiting any of our 51 driver service centers during normal business hours. As an added service, we are again opening certain centers for special Saturday hours to make sure everyone has an opportunity to get a photo ID," Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.
The eight driver service centers will be open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 6 and Saturday, November 3. The centers will issue voter photo IDs and convert non-photo driver licenses into photo driver licenses only. No other services will be available during these special hours.
To minimize the possibility of wait times during Saturday hours, groups or organizations planning to make a group visit to a driver service center should schedule an appointment by calling Melissa Long at 865-712-4908.