The days may be numbered for Tennessee’s Warren County Driver Testing Center, as the office has been targeted by the state for a potential closure by May 31, 2016.
The move would be a way for the state to consolidate its services and save money, according to Bill Gibbons, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, who visited the area recently to explain the state’s thinking on the manner.
Citing similar reasons, the state agency has already closed 8 other licensing centers statewide. Shuttering the offices has reaped $1.3 million in savings for Tennessee, with the Warren County center expected to add an additional $77,000 annually to that total, Gibbons said.
The Warren County center in particular has been targeted, as it’s within the bottom 26 percent of statewide activity, ranking 34th out of the 47 testing centers in Tennessee, Gibbons added.
In previous closures, office staff has been reassigned rather than laid off; however, it was unclear whether that is the current plan for the Warren County licensing office.
Still, many local residents and leaders were unhappy with the news, saying the closure would force nearby residents to travel greater distances in order to get driver’s licenses or state-issued ID cards.
The Warren County center would also cater to those planning on taking a driving test, registering to vote, or obtain certain driving records.
While no plans have been finalized, Gibbons hinted at possible partnership opportunities between the state and local governments to provide some of the services offered at the licensing center to residents who would be affected by the closing.