ATLANTA -- The Kroger Co. division here has opened another driver's license renewal center to further its community relations in Georgia.
The Cincinnati-based chain installed an 10-foot wide driver's license renewal counter next to the customer service counter at a new store early this month. It plans to open another by June 1, bringing total renewal centers to 25 of Kroger's 141 stores, said Ron Hoffman, manager of store development for Atlanta KMA. Last year, 20% of all driver's license renewals in the state of Georgia were performed in a Kroger store, according to Gordy Wright, public information officer for the Georgia Department of Public Safety, also based here.
Hoffman said that Kroger considers the two-year program "a great community project." Prior to Kroger making space available rent-free in its stores for license renewal, Georgia drivers, especially those living in metropolitan areas, faced long waiting lines. Nearly all of Kroger's renewal centers are in the Atlanta market.
While the state had funds for additional staffing of new renewal centers, "they never had the money for the rent. And so we give them space free of charge strictly as a service," said Hoffman. The centers are operated by state employees.
During the past year, Kroger expanded the centers' operating hours from a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Kroger runs ads touting the service a few times a year to raise awareness. "When the service first started we had front-page coverage in the Atlanta Journal Constitution," Hoffman added. The renewal service at Kroger helps fill a void caused by too few state motor vehicle offices, according to Hoffman. The state has 83 renewal locations including the Kroger stores.