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Warren driver testing center may close

The Warren County Driver Testing Center may among those closed to cut costs, causing DeKalb Countians to travel farther to obtain a license.


Eight centers in the state have been shuttered by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security so far, and the McMinnville could be closed by May 31. According to the Southern Standard, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Bill Gibbons visited McMinnville recently to explain the move.


The commissioner revealed that the Warren County testing center costs the state about $77,000 per year to operate, and that employees from Warren County center could be relocated to empty work stations at other testing facilities. He said that among the factors leading to the decision is the fact that Warren County is in the bottom 26 percent in level of activity, and ranks 34th among 47 testing centers, and offered that locals could travel to Tullahoma for testing if the Warren County center closes.


Gibbons said the closures have already saved the state $1.3 million in operating costs, and that transferring personnel to other centers has allowed it to be done without eliminating employees.


Gibbons said that Warren County agencies could partner with the state and begin performing many of the services offered at the center. He said a four-dollar charge could be made for every transaction. The commissioner said that school systems could offer written and driving tests at the high school level.


"Merging certain driver services centers is part of our plan to enhance customer service and overall efficiency at centers across the state," Gibbons said in a media release. "By merging these centers, we can use our resources to better serve the citizens and save taxpayer dollars. The mission of the Driver Services Division is to promote safe, knowledgeable, and competent drivers in the State of Tennessee. Using diversified program offerings, the Division is able to provide various services to Tennessee Citizens. The Driver Services Division is responsible for testing and issuing driver licenses as well as offering voter registration and issuance of driving records."