ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The Georgia Department of Driver Services has moved into its new home in Alpharetta and applauded its new landlord: Fulton County.
Officials said it has set a new level of governmental cooperation and will save taxpayers time and money. The Georgia DDS and the Fulton County Tag Office now share quarters at 11575 Maxwell Road, Alpharetta, (across the street from the Fulton County Schools bus lot).
DDS Commissioner Spencer Moore said at the official ribbon-cutting last week the new location in the Fulton County government building of nearly 35,000 square feet (not counting the 16,000-square-foot warehouse) provides ample space.
Fulton County built the building for its water resources operation, but that was before a completely incorporated North Fulton was even considered. So space was available.
“I am extremely excited about being here. It is a much better location [than the former Sandy Springs office],” Moore said.
Fulton County Post 1 Commissioner Liz Hausmann said locating in the same building with Fulton County water utility means greater convenience for North Fulton residents.
“We practically have a North Fulton Service Center north of the Chattahoochee,” Hausmann said.
Fulton County Manager Dick Anderson praised the marriage of services also.
“The biggest problem governments have is finding a good location for services. This is how local and state partnerships can make things happen that are good for our citizens,” Anderson said.
Now residents can register a vehicle, take a driver’s test or renew a license under the same roof.
The new center has 21 customer service counters, up four from the previous facility. Twelve touch-screen knowledge testing machines and 12 computers are dedicated for customer applications and documentation.
Seating can accommodate more than 100.
Since the office opened Sept. 19, new efficiencies have been realized, Moore said.
“The first day we opened, we served 727 customers. Their average wait time for services was 3 minutes 12 seconds,” he said. “We had 172 positive comment cards the first week.”
To date, the 6,807 customers served have been helped in an average of 3 minutes 42 seconds.
“That is a tremendous job,” Moore said.
Ga. DDS Chairman David Connell called the office “one of the most innovative organizations” he had ever seen. It needs to be issuing 4.8 million drivers licenses annually statewide, he said.
Fulton County District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis said the county has had its bureaucratic problems in the past.
“But this is a time we can be proud of our partnership and collaboration with another government,” Ellis said.
State Sen. Brandon Beach said such inter-governmental collaboration is important for Georgia because it shows state agencies are taking a “customer service view” of the jobs they do.
“It was an easy vote to support this,” Beach said.