Driver's Licenses No Longer Issued Downtown

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

Knoxville (WVLT) - As more people move Downtown, one service they may think is offered nearby is now gone.

You can no longer get your driver's license renewed Downtown.

Knox County leaders say it's a move for the better, better parking and convenience.

And already at the new location, they're doing double the business than they've ever done Downtown.

No lights, no one around, no more services. If you want to get your driver's license renewed, Knox County Clerk Mike Padgett says "don't come Downtown anymore to the courthouse."

This location is closed, but the one on MLK Avenue is open. And when Five Points opened it's doors the state said it's too close in proximity to the courthouse and denied the request for two locations. But more importantly, "It's very difficult, as people realize, to come downtown to find a parking space, pay for the parking and walk a considerable distance," Padgett says.

At this new location, you don't have to worry about any of that.

"The parking is great. You can pull right up to our building right outside, we have handicapped accessibility... a ramp," says Mona Word, Five Points Office Manager.

The old courthouse isn't as "ADA compliant". Plus, Five Points is located on a bus route, providing easy access.

When they city moved the bus stop here, the courthouse lost these three handicapped parking spaces, and it's a lack of those spots that prompted the move to Five Points.

"It's very convenient. You just pull up to out drive and come right into the building and get your services that you need," Word.

More than two dozen people utilize these services a day, just at this location, that's almost double the business the courthouse was doing in the past.

"I don't hear any negativity about people not being able to come to the courthouse. I hear a lot of positive about thanks for being able to not have to park and walk two blocks," Padgett says.

You can still go to four other locations in Knox County.

The largest is located at Knoxville Center Mall, there's one located north in Halls, one at the east end of the county on Strawberry Plains Pike and one at Parkway Business Center in West Knox County.

One thing causing a lot of confusion: the state's website still lists the Downtown Courthouse as a location.

Padgett says that's being fixed right now.

You can still get your car tags renewed Downtown, just not your driver's license.


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