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State examiner Michelle Holden with Gloria Ayala, as Ayala takes her eye exam at the new driver license office on the first floor of the Morgan County Courthouse. The lines are no longer spilling into the hallways.
Daily photos by Gary lloyd
State examiner Michelle Holden with Gloria Ayala, as Ayala takes her eye exam at the new driver license office on the first floor of the Morgan County Courthouse. The lines are no longer spilling into the hallways.

Room to
breathe, test

New space for driver examiners clears hallways at Morgan County Courthouse

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com · 340-2437

Extra space made the difference in long lines forming as people waited for the call “Next.”

A redesign by Morgan County Commission Chairman John Glasscock of the old sheriff’s office cleared the courthouse’s first floor hallways of driver license applicants.

The state license examiners moved into the renovated office recently and there are no long lines. Instead, there are empty chairs in the waiting room.

“It’s great,” said state trooper Lt. Ricky Dale. “The other part was so small that we only had three systems; now we have room for two more. The space makes that possible.”

Before, the examiners occupied an office near the front entrance at the courthouse. When the room filled, driver license applicants formed a line in the hall outside the office. Many sat on the floor.

The systems Dale spoke of are machines that process licenses and identification cards.

The larger office made room for more employees. In addition, the Commercial Driver License Division was closed at Hartselle and consolidated with the Decatur operation, Dale said.

Kenneth Troupe of Athens takes the written part of the driver license test on a computer in the new office at the Morgan County Courthouse. The office increased its number of automated testing machines for the written examination from six to 10.
Kenneth Troupe of Athens takes the written part of the driver license test on a computer in the new office at the Morgan County Courthouse. The office increased its number of automated testing machines for the written examination from six to 10.
Also, the office increased its number of automated testing machines for the written examination from six to 10.

An overflow of foreign applicants contributed to the long lines. Decatur was the only office that processed these applicants, but that has changed.

“Now they can go to Huntsville also,” said Dale. “That’s another reason we’ve been getting them out better, but mostly it’s because of having enough space for the extra systems. We really thank Mr. Glasscock for providing this for us.”

Glasscock suggested using the office space, which the sheriff vacated when he moved into the new jail across the street.

Another official will have a part of the old sheriff’s office.

Probate Judge Greg Cain has ordered furniture for a courtroom that workers built for him. Also, he has a conference room for attorneys and clients and a personal office for himself.

The office relocation of the driving division made the
driver license process one-stop.

In the past, after someone passed the driver test, he went upstairs to the license commissioner’s office for processing and issuance of a temporary license.

The driver examiners now issue first-time licenses. Also, licensed drivers no longer have to go to the license commissioner’s office on the second floor for renewal or duplicate licenses. The license clerk from the license commissioner’s office is in an office adjacent to the license examiners.

The examiners help the clerk if a line forms.

“If she has a line, we can do renewals or duplicates,” Dale said. “The only thing is that she can take checks and we cannot. If they want to pay with cash or a credit card, we can do it.”

Maintenance employees saved the county thousands by doing the work, said Glasscock.

“They did a fantastic job. With the cooperation of Lt. Dale, we made it all come together,” said Glasscock. “The extra space made better working conditions for them and enabled them to give better service to the citizens.”

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