By: William C. Head, Atlanta DUI Lawyer – Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Why GA DPS No Longer Handles Driver’s License Issuance, Cancellation, or Testing New Drivers
If you see a Georgia State Patrol officer on the highway, that vehicle and that officer are part of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. This is a LAW ENFORCEMENT agency within the State of Georgia. GA DPS does NOT issue, suspend, or revoke driver’s licenses, or give driving tests, like they did a few decades ago.
Twice in the past 25 years, two different Georgia governors (Barnes and Perdue) acted to break out government departments into more focused, specialized departments. For drivers license oversight and regulation, the Georgia DDS (also known as DDS GA of GA DDS) is now the controlling agency. Due to the common acronym “DMV” being fairly ubiquitous, thousands of people search each year for Georgia DMV, despite that never have been the correct acronym in Georgia.
The Responsibilities of the Department of Public Safety in Georgia Was Changed July 1, 2000
Many years ago, the Georgia DPS existed in a quite different configuration. When the population of Georgia was much smaller, the Georgia DDS did almost everything, as it related to the right to drive in the Peach State. The Department previously handled driver’s license issuance, provided officers to ride along with new drivers hoping to pass their driving test, as well as covered law enforcement duties. They even handled car tag issuance and collection of taxes on vehicle license plates.
After taking office in 1998, Gov. Roy Barnes sought to have the Georgia legislature break up the many functions of Georgia DPS, and in 2000, this change took place. On July 1, 2000, Ga. Laws 2000, p.951, created the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety and gave this new department the responsibility for enforcing and administering laws relating to motor vehicle safety, which was formerly the responsibility of the Department of Public Safety.
This Act altered existing Code provisions to reflect this reorganization and transfer of responsibilities. This realignment took some responsibilities away from DPS, and gave several duties to the newly-named department. The driver’s license issuance office then became the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety (DMVS). No other state DMV had this acronym, only Georgia.
The responsibility for driver’s license issuance, suspension, or revocation went from Georgia DMVS to the Georgia DDS on July 1, 2005, in another realignment put in place by Gov. Sonny Perdue. On July 1, 2005, the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety became the Georgia Department of Driver Services, or GA DDS for short.
Now, the Georgia Department of Revenue controls motor vehicle titles, vehicle tag issuance, and collection of annual or other motor vehicle tax collections, and depends on the GA Department of Driver Services (DDS GA) to make sure drivers who are licensed to drive in Georgia are legally authorized to do so.
The Georgia State Patrol Now Focuses on Law Enforcement, Not Driver’s License or Motor Vehicle Tag Registration and License Plate Issues
GSP officers are now dedicated to law enforcement only. Issues of commercial vehicle safety and overseeing the security of the State Capitol are now covered by the Georgia DPS. Today, the only functions of GA DPS are to run the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) which includes training new officers, providing the Georgia government hub in downtown Atlanta with Capitol Police officers, and manning the Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD).
The MCDD are the police cars and SUV vehicles at commercial truck weigh-in stations or along Georgia’s highways, making random stops of commercial vehicles or buses to check for commercial drivers’ licenses, compliance with vehicle weight limits, Hazmat shipping, vehicle safety equipment checks, and minimum liability insurance requirements.
Part of the GSP special units include the GSP SCRT (Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team) unit, to investigate death and serious injury cases on Georgia’s highways, and the Georgia State Patrol “Nighthawks” Unit, the top DUI enforcement agency in Georgia. Every DUI lawyer in Georgia who handles misdemeanor DUI cases and DUI felony death or serious injury vehicular homicide cases is familiar with the state troopers on these special units.
Call a Law Firm Whose Criminal Law Partners Know How to Beat a DUI
Call 41-year veteran Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head today and get honest and correct answers to all your questions. Tell our DUI lawyers everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest. The sooner you call a criminal defense attorney with our DUI law firm, the better chance we have to win your case.
Remember, you only have 10 DAYS to file a license suspension appeal, or your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year! Talk to DUI attorneys Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager now. We are available 24 hours a day, weekends, and all major holidays. (404) 567-5515