By Jill Penley
The nearest Department of Safety and Homeland Security is some 40 miles from Mountain City. While the Johnson County Clerk’s Office continues to participate with the state as a “county clerk partner,” giving them the ability to provide local residents many services, it still has to redirect many customers to the Elizabethton Driver Services Center for some transactions, and due to a recent move, there has been some confusion. Such services provided in Mountain City include renewals of Tennessee driver’s license, duplicates, or change of address to a Tennessee driver license, photo identification update, renewal of a handgun carry permit, and the more recent addition of obtaining a Real ID.
“While we are able to assist with some driver’s license actions,” said Tammie Fenner, Johnson County Clerk, “we have to direct a number of people to Elizabethton, and that includes those needinga Commercial Driver’s license, new drivers wishing to obtain either a learner’s permit or a first -time driver’s license, all reinstatement issues and all new residents.”
According to Fenner, there have been some issues since the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security relocated to 1741 Highway 19 E, Elizabethton, Tennessee, from the former location at 419 W. Elk Ave near Tractor Supply.
“We’ve been told some GPS devices are unable to lead folks to the new location, which is in the old Big Lots building, near the Mayflower Restaurant.”
Fenner advises adding the word “bypass” to the address after Highway 19E, which sometimes helps in picking up the correct site.The new location, which opened Dec 9, is open from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST), Monday through Friday. The facility is a full-service center that handles items such as driver license issuance, identification card issuance, motor vehicle records, vision testing, knowledge and skills testing, handgun permit applications, voter registration, and organ donor considerations.
The location also houses the Department of Human Services, Department of Children’s Services, Department of Safety Driver’s License Center as well as local Tennessee Highway Patrol Offices.