The new Georgia Department of Driver’s Services office is now open on Dothan Road in Bainbridge, in what was formerly the Southwest Georgia Welcome Center.
The welcome center was built in 2002 but had been vacant recently due to state budget cuts. City of Bainbridge officials talked with state legislators about what could be done and it was determined that a Driver’s Services office would be a good fit for the building.
Georgia House representatives Darlene Taylor and Jay Powell, and State Senator Dean Burke were credited with taking up the cause in state government. State Representative Ed Rynders, chairman of the House’s general government subcommittee, which oversees the DDS budget, also played a crucial role.
The Bainbridge Driver’s Services office in Bainbridge replaces the one that was in Colquitt, GA. The Bainbridge office is open Tuesday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and provides a wide range of services, including renewal/replacement of driver’s licenses, knowledge exams and regular road tests and driving history reports.
Georgia DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell was in Bainbridge Thursday and said the Bainbridge office, open just a week, has already had steady business.
“We averaged about 95-100 customers per day in the first week and even had people waiting in line on the first day we were open,” Mikell said. “We estimate that we will serve about 18,000 customers per year. There’s six customer service counters and we’ve been working hard on reducing statewide customer wait times.”
State Representative Jay Powell, who is chairman of the House Public Safety subcommittee, said he believes that successful communities are those that “recognize opportunities instead of problems.” Powell said the opening of a Driver’s Services office in Bainbridge will bring people from all over Southwest Georgia to the city.