Real IDs increase wait times at Tennessee driver services centers

Real IDs increase wait times at Tennessee driver services centers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The lines and wait times at state driver services centers have been increasing, as Tennesseans try to get a Real ID before a big deadline this year.

Real IDs are an enhanced security measure enacted by Congress in 2005 as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

They aren’t required, but starting Oct. 1, unless you have a passport, you’ll need one to pass through TSA at airports and to enter certain federal buildings and property.

Since the state began issuing Real IDs last July, drivers services leaders say the average wait time has increased to one hour seven seconds.

It's also led to longer wait times to get a regular driver's license, now averaging 47 minutes.

"I am aware of the frustration and concern with regard to wait at driver services centers," said Paula Shaw, the assistant commissioner of driver services.

State leaders say they've hired 30 part time workers to help at the busiest locations and approved the hiring of 55 temporary workers in November.

In addition, they've partnered with county clerk offices to provide another location for people to get Real IDs.

"They have been invaluable partners to us and offer additional points of service to citizens across the state," Shaw said.

Shaw said the state has issued more than 403,000 Real IDs.

County clerks have issued more than 44,000, Shaw said.

For more information on Real IDs, including where to get one nearest you, visit

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