Currently, the local GSP office and DDS are located in one building at 1300 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cartersville. With 2008 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funding, county officials recently began land work at the site of the new GSP facility on Ga. Highway 20 Spur at Smiley Ingram Road and expect the $3 million project, which includes the purchase of the land, to be complete at the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011.
"That was our plan all along, that once the state patrol moved, we're going to go in and refurbish the building and allow DDS to stay in that facility," Bradley said. "If the state has made a decision to close it, I'm not aware of it. It won't be because we won't provide a facility. We will continue to provide a facility there."
The county provides facilities for local offices of state agencies, including GSP, DDS and the county extension office.
"Oftentimes, local governments are providing the facilities for those operations," Bradley said. "DDS is not the only facility we provide for state agencies we feel that we want to support that to be in our community."
Bradley said providing a facility for DDS -- which in the future could relocate from its current location -- is done for the convenience of Bartow residents. In the short term, county crews will refurbish the building at 1300 Joe Frank Harris Parkway when GSP troopers relocate, and it will continue to house DDS.
"Our ultimate goal is to build a new [DDS] facility eventually and relocate them and then [the existing] property would probably go on surplus at some point in the future and be sold," Bradley said. "We're not interested in doing that right now because the market is down. It's valuable property on the corner of an intersection of U.S. 41. Who knows what the future might bring? We might need it for some county facility but we are planning to continue to provide that space for them. ... If we did in the future decide to relocate them, it would be to another facility in Bartow County."
General fund dollars would be used to repair and update the building.
DDS offers online options
Although county officials say the local DDS office will remain operational, Georgia residents can opt to renew licenses, replace lost cards and change addresses via the state agency's website at www.dds.ga.gov.
In a press release, DDS officials said the agency mails automated renewal applications to eligible drivers and the application contains individualized instructions for renewing a license without a trip to a customer service center.
To qualify for an Internet license renewal:
* You must have received a Renewal Application from the Department of Driver Services within 60 days before the license/ID expiration date.
* You must have the Resident Identification Number found on the Renewal Application.
* You must be a U.S. citizen.
* You must be 18 years or older.
You should expect to receive your renewed license within 30 days.
To qualify for a request for an Internet license replacement:
* You are allowed a maximum of three lost license replacements per year.
* You hold only a regular non-commercial license, as learner's licenses and permits are not eligible for online replacement.
* Your license is not suspended, canceled or revoked.
* Your license expires after Feb. 6, 2011.
* Your Social Security number must be provided and will be verified with the Social Security Administration along with your name and date of birth.
* You must reside at the same address that is on your license.
* You must agree to the Lost License Affidavit.
You should expect to receive your replacement license within 30 days.
DDS offers a free name or address change for qualified licenses once during each renewal cycle, but name changes can only be processed at a customer service center.
Address changes also are available online. For security purposes you must have your license in hand to supply key information found only on the face of the license.
"DDS has created a quick, secure and convenient way for our customers to conduct their licensing business anytime of the day or night -- even during holiday closings," DDS Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier said in the release. "It is an excellent way to save valuable time and money."