DOS implements state's new, tougher driver license policy 

From Staff Reports

 The Elizabethton office of the state Department of Safety implements today a new policy that makes getting a driver license a more grueling process with the hope of curbing incidences of illegal documentation. Gov. Phil Bredesen proposed the changes after consulting the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and the DOS.
  TDOS now issues a Certificate of Driving to those who do not qualify for a Tennessee driver license. A Tennessee driver license is now only available to United States citizens or lawful permanent residents of the country.
  In addition to first-time driver license applicants, Tennesseans issued a driver license since Jan. 1, 2001 are required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency when they renew. Anyone reinstating his or her driver license because of suspension, revocation or cancellation is also required to provide proper documentation.
  "Tennessee's new driver license policy is the first of its kind," said TDOS Commissioner Fred Phillips. "The department has worked hard to effectively implement the changes by making modifications in our staffing, training and issuance procedures."
  Susan Reece, office manager for the Elizabethton DOS confirmed Wednesday that the office is ready to begin the new procedure. The local DOS office has moved from 419 W. Elk Ave. to 206 Cherokee Dr.
  Individuals eligible for the new Certificate of Driving include persons who have temporary, legal documents from the U.S. government (work visa, educational visas, etc.). This certificate expires at the same time as their temporary, legal documents expire.
  Also eligible are those who do not meet the eligibility requirement for a license but can provide proof of identity and residence in Tennessee. Certificates issued to those persons will be valid for only one year.
  When applying for a Tennessee driver license, applicants must provide:
  * Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency
  * Two proofs of identity
  * Two proofs of Tennessee residency
  * Proof of social security number (If never issued a social security number, a sworn affidavit stating that is required.)
  Those applying for a Certificate of Driving must provide:
  * Two proofs of identity
  * Two proofs of Tennessee residency
  * Proof of social security number (If never issued a social security number, a sworn affidavit stating that is required.)
  A list of accepted documents for both a driver license and the Certificate of Driving are available at www.tennessee.gov/safety. The department has established a toll-free hotline explaining the new policy and the Certificate of Driving. The hotline number is 1-866-368-6335. Also, persons can e-mail questions to the department at cfd.help@state.tn.us.
  The department has added 25 temporary employees to supplement the existing driver license personnel. In addition, TDOS has provided additional training to all driver license personnel about the new policies and procedures as well as the required documentation all applicants must provide.