State expands driver’s license exam dates

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Clanton driver’s license examining office will be open four days per week effective immediately, the Alabama Department of Public Safety announced.

The office, located in room 121 on the bottom floor of the Chilton County Courthouse, will operate Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., closing for a lunch hour at noon.

Previously, the office was open only on Mondays and Tuesdays, creating long lines in the courthouse.

“Monday they were lined up from the driver’s license office to the drink machine,” Chilton County Probate Judge Bobby Martin said.

Only the state examining office can issue state ID cards, driver’s licenses and learner’s permits, Martin explained. This is also true of any changes on CDL licenses. The probate office does handle license renewals, the replacement of lost licenses and reinstated (previously revoked) licenses, however.

“It will be a great service to the people of Chilton County to have someone here four days instead of two days,” Martin said.

The change had been in the works for two to three years. The lack of space at the courthouse was and continues to be a major issue with program expansions. Now that the number of exam days per week has doubled, public safety officials hope to both shorten the waiting line and serve more people.

“We’re just trying to make our services more available to the public,” Cpl. David Ratliff said.

Increased traffic from surrounding counties, along with an increase in revenue, is another expected result of the change. The county takes in $1.50 per license issued, Martin said.

“We won’t be able to tell any difference until we get the word out,” he said.