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Illa Dexter, 92, reads a novel as she waits in line for a government ID and a handicap parking pass Thursday at the Morgan County Courthouse. Her daughters Dana Sterling, left, and Lynne Carver, wait in line with her to get driver licenses. They recently moved to Morgan County from Washington state.
Daily photo by John Godbey
Illa Dexter, 92, reads a novel as she waits in line for a government ID and a handicap parking pass Thursday at the Morgan County Courthouse. Her daughters Dana Sterling, left, and Lynne Carver, wait in line with her to get driver licenses. They recently moved to Morgan County from Washington state.

The wait is on for driver licenses
Lines form at Morgan Courthouse for examinations

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

If you go to the Morgan County Courthouse to take a driver license examination, wear comfortable shoes.

You could take a number, and if the chairs fill up, you might have to stand in line.

That was the case Thursday.

Lt. Ricky Dale, commander of the office, said a lot of people came to the office because it was right after a holiday.

"Most days we're in pretty good shape," said Dale. "It's right after the Fourth of July, and we have more people. We've been busier than we've been for a while because we were closed for the holiday."

By 3 p.m. Thursday only five people were waiting, Dale said.

Donna Maxwell said she took her granddaughter to test for a license Tuesday and waited two hours. She returned Thursday, and the wait was not long.

"There were so many people Tuesday," said Maxwell. "We came back today, and it wasn't bad."

Confusion of offices

Maxwell raised another issue about confusion with driver license renewals and examinations.

"A lot of people coming in to get a license renewed get confused and get in the line for testing," said Maxwell. "I told one person who was waiting where to go to get a new license."

License Commissioner Sue Baker Roan said she would check to see if her division could be clearly divided.

"I'll get with maintenance and see what we can do," Roan said. "We don't have long lines, and people who come to our office across from the examiners don't have to wait in their line."

Larry Elliott, who was No. 82 Thursday, said he was pleased with the swiftness of the movement.

"It's not bad at all," said Elliott. "They're moving pretty fast. When I came in they were at No. 67, now they're at 77 and it hasn't been that long."

The license examiners' office moved into a portion of the old sheriff's office, and Dale said that helped the situation.

"Moving allowed us to have five systems instead of three, and that helped," Dale said. "We have four or five examiners, and that's full staff."

He said processing foreign national applicants is time consuming because that's done on one system only.

Overall, Dale said, lines have drastically shortened.

"A week before school starts back, we might not be able to meet the demands, but I'm sure we will," Dale said, referring to students testing for a license. "Normally, we're able to get people through without a wait."

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