Staff at Tennessee’s Driver Services’ Centers aren’t doing enough to make sure people who come in for commercial drivers’ licenses and commercial learners’ permits provide proof of residency.
This, of course, increases the likelihood non-residents of Tennessee could get a drivers’ license.
And that, according to an audit Tennessee Comptrollers released Wednesday, could result in more public safety issues.
For this audit, Comptrollers reviewed the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security, which oversees these matters.
“We visited several driver services centers across the state to gain an understanding of their overall operations. At one particular center, staff shared concerns about other centers issuing learner’s permits to applicants who had not provided adequate documentation for proof of residency,” auditors wrote.
“This center is the only center in the district that contains both the CDL (Commercial Drivers’ Licenses) examiners and the CDL pad necessary for the road skills test. Learner’s permit holders who were issued their permits by other centers would eventually conduct their road test at this center.”
Per Tennessee law, acceptable proof of residency is a document with a person’s name and residential address within the state, such as a government-issued tax form. According to the federal law, states are responsible for making sure the applicant meets the requirements for the licenses, according to the audit.
“From a population of 318 applicants who obtained testing across the state through third-party companies for the period March 7, 2018, through June 1, 2019, we selected a haphazard sample of 122 applicants to determine if the driver services center staff obtained adequate documentation,” auditors wrote.
“We determined that for 6 of 122 applicants (5 percent), staff had not obtained and uploaded adequate proof of residency in the A-List system before issuing a commercial learner’s permit, and we subsequently discovered that these permit holders were issued a CDL.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Tennessee Driver’s License” by TN Gov. Background Photo “DMV” by Oregon Department of Transportation. CC BY 2.0.