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DDS Commissioner questioned about understaffing amid five-hour waits

ATLANTA -- A week ago Tuesday, new federal guidelines were implemented, which changed the procedures for obtaining or renewing a Georgia Drivers license

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The result has been chaos at Department of Driver Services offices with some customers being forced to wait in line five hours or more.

UPDATE | Driver's license changes lead to extra long lines

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- At 7:29 last Thursday morning, one minute before the doors even opened, nearly 200 people were already in line waiting to enter the Sandy Springs Department of Driver Services.

Drivers have waited up to five hours (and more) to renew their licenses after a change in law that took effect July 1st. The new law requires more stringent driver identification procedures which will result in the creation of a new, 'secure' license. 

RELATED | Big changes in Georgia driver's license procedures

Early voting starts Monday for July 31 primary

Early voting starts Monday for July 31 primary

ATLANTA -- Voters can start casting early ballots Monday for the July 31 primary and transportation referendum.

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Secretary of State Brian Kemp said voting officials will being taking early ballots for the July 31 primary election. The election will also decide nonpartisan races and whether to approve a 1-cent hike in the sales tax to fund regional transportation projects.

CDC: Methadone deaths may have peaked

CDC: Methadone deaths may have peaked

ATLANTA -- Health officials say methadone is involved in nearly one-third of deaths from prescription painkillers. But overdose deaths from methadone appear to have peaked.

Methadone is known mainly for treating heroin addictions but it is also prescribed for pain. Health officials say most of the overdose deaths are people who take it for pain - not heroin addicts.

New federal data shows the number and rate of methadone-related deaths have fallen since 2007.

Experts believe doctors are more cautious today about prescribing methadone for pain because of federal warnings and state prescription monitoring programs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the study Tuesday.

Big changes in Georgia driver's license procedure

Big changes take effect today for drivers looking to renew, reinstate or obtain a new Georgia driver's license. First, drivers must visit a Department of Driver Services office in person. On-line or mail-in renewals are no longer allowed. Secondly, applicants must provide one legal form of identification, i.e. Original birth certificate or valid passport. (Current or expired driver's license not accepted). They must also present two documents with proof of Georgia residency such as a current utility bill or bank statement. And finally, they must show a full, printed social security number on a Social Security card or document such as a W-2 form. This is in response to the 2005 Real I.D. Act which passed following 9-11. For a complete checklist of acceptable documents, go to the D.D.S. website.

Voter registration deadline looms for Ga. voters

Voter registration deadline looms for Ga. voters

ATLANTA -- Georgia voters face a looming deadline to register for the upcoming primary elections.

Voters must register by Monday if they want to cast a ballot in the July 31 primary election.

At stake in the election are seats in the General Assembly, the state Public Service Commission, the U.S. House of Representatives, several judgeships and prosecutor's offices.

Seamless Summer program feeds hungry kids

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education is participating in a program that will help feed children who rely on free and reduced-price lunches during the school year.

RELATED | Study shows hunger highest in DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton
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The program, Seamless Summer, provides free food for children ages 1-18 who live in low-income areas.