New driver's license center in Downtown Atlanta opens soon

January 12,2016

Crews are putting the final touches on a multimillion-dollar driver’s license center for Downtown Atlanta.

The $2.3 million office at 400 Whitehall Street SW opens Tuesday. It replaces Department of Driver Services' temporary downtown office, which wasn't so temporary. The trailer-like structure had been parked near Turner Field for 11 years.

"To know that there's plenty of parking and a permanent building and not a trailer, I think it's going to be great," said driver Bonita Jones. 

No more elbow-to elbow crowds in a dingy pre-fab metal shed for the drivers. Applicants in the temporary structure had to fill out paper forms. 

The new facility is fully computerized and features five more service windows.  Spokesperson Susan Sports says it will likely serve 1,000 customers per day.

"We don't exactly know how much more efficient or faster it will be, but it's got to be," she said.

The improvements go beyond efficiency, to first impressions.

"When they come, you don't want them to visit a trailer. You want this to be the first impression they have of our state government," said Atlanta manager Aretha Wright from behind the gleaming new counter.