GA Driver Services Commissioner Hosts Federal Homeland Security Partner
Commissioner Rob Mikell, Department of Driver Services (DDS), recently hosted Mr. Ted Sobel, Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of State Issued ID Support at the Conyers DDS Administrative Headquarters. This visit provided an opportunity that state administrators seldom get – to have a face-to- face dialogue with a federal partner to foster collaboration for a safer, more secure nation.
“I am honored that Ted chose to visit DDS,” said Mikell. “It provided a unique chance to strengthen our partnership for a more secure licensing process,” he added. “Our team became more familiar with available resources, and I believe, our firsthand account of Georgia’s implementation of Secure ID will benefit other states greatly,” he added.
Mikell, along with several members of his management team, were asked by Sobel to provide a presentation on Georgia’s new SecureID Program (Real ID homeland security compliant licenses and ID Cards). Georgia is one of 19 states that are now deemed compliant with Real ID by the DHS. It has been nearly one year since SecureID implementation. DDS marked a program milestone by issuing over one million customers a SecureID and has identified several efficiencies over the past year.
One website enhancement of considerable interest to Sobel was a new DDS online service to enable customers to submit pending residency and/or social security information without a return visit. Customers may access the caption “SecureID: Submit proof of residency or social security” from the DDS homepage http://www.dds.ga.gov/index.aspx and on the DDS Online Services Page (https://online.dds.ga.gov/OnlineServices/Account/Login.aspx). After creating or logging in to their existing online account, customers will immediately be able to review their status of pending documentation and are instructed how to upload the required information. Directions to fax or mail the additional residency or social security information are also provided. Historically, 20% of renewal customers have needed to return to DDS to provide one or both proof of address documents before final issuance. This feature has the potential to reduce center demand which is typically up during the summer vacation months.
Sobel also received a tour of a licensing center and the administrative offices including the DDS customer contact center –one of the busiest in Georgia state government. He was also interested in the development of ‘Customer Service Help Desks’ which are designed to handle complex licensing issues directly from the field offices.
Please visit the DDS website at www.dds.ga.gov for complete licensing and testing information.