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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 375-1-1 ORGANIZATION

Rule 375-1-1-.01 Organization

(1) The Department of Driver Services is composed of ten (10) divisions: the Office of the Commissioner, Human Resources Division, Legal Division, Field Operations Division, Governmental Affairs and Communications Division, Regulatory Compliance Division, Finance and Customer Service Support Division, Information Technology Division, Program Management Office, and the Office of Investigative Services.
(2) The Department's Headquarters is located at 2206 East View Parkway, Conyers, Georgia 30013.
(3) The Department's Headquarters mailing address is P.O. Box 80447, Conyers, Georgia 30013.

Rule 375-1-1-.02 Service of Process

(1) Appeals to Superior Courts
(a) Appeals to the superior courts from a final agency decision rendered by the Office of State Administrative Hearings under the Administrative Procedure Act, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-13-41(e)(3) shall be served by personal delivery to the Legal Division of the Department at 2201 Eastview Parkway, Conyers, Georgia 30013, or by mail to the Department of Driver Services, Legal Division, P. O. Box 80447, Conyers, Georgia 30013. The party or counsel shall also furnish a copy of the appeal by mail to the Office of State Administrative Hearings and to the Department of Law, Public Safety Section, 40 Capitol Square, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1300.
(b) Appeals to the superior courts from a final agency decision rendered by the agency itself under the Administrative Procedure Act, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-13-41(e)(3) shall be served by personal delivery to the Legal Division of the Department at 2201 Eastview Parkway, Conyers, Georgia 30013, or by mail to the Department of Driver Services, Legal Division, P. O. Box 80447, Conyers, Georgia 30013. The party or counsel shall also furnish a copy of the appeal by mail to the Department of Law, Public Safety Section, 40 Capitol Square, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1300.
(c) Appeals to the Superior Court from a final agency decision not governed by the Administrative Procedure Act shall be served on the Department by personal service to the Legal Division of the Department of Driver Services at 2201 Eastview Parkway, Conyers, Georgia 30013. The party or counsel shall also furnish a copy of the appeal by mail to the Department of Law, Public Safety Section, 40 Capitol Square, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-1300.
(d) Service upon any other person, agency, or entity shall not be considered service on or notice to the Department of the action for the purpose of appeals of contested cases under the Act.
(2) Service of process of all other actions to which the Department or its Commissioner are named as parties shall be as provided by law.
(3) The General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, Assistant General Counsel, and such other persons as may be designated by the Commissioner, are authorized to accept service of process on behalf of the Department and the Commissioner.

Rule 375-1-1-.03 General Administrative Definitions

(1) "Board" shall mean the Board of Driver Services of the State of Georgia.
(2) "Commissioner" shall mean the Commissioner of Driver Services of the State of Georgia.
(3) "Department" shall mean the Department of Driver Services of the State of Georgia.
(4) "Electronic signature" means an electronic mark or symbol attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
(5) "Hearing" shall mean a right of the Department and of parties affected by any action of the Department who have filed an appeal pursuant to Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 375-1-1-.06 to present relevant information, testimony, documents, evidence, and legal arguments as to why such action should or should not be taken.
(a) "Hearing Examiner" or "Hearing Officer" or "Reviewing Officer" shall mean an officer or employee of the Department or other person so designated by the Commissioner or the Board who shall be employed or appointed by the Department for purpose as needed and shall be authorized to exercise such powers as are given such persons by statute or rule.
(b) "Administrative Law Judge" or "ALJ" shall mean an employee of the Office of State Administrative Hearings so designated by the Chief State Administrative Law Judge to conduct a hearing and shall be authorized to exercise such powers as are given such persons by statute or rule.
(6) "Signature" shall mean the hand-written or electronic recording of a person's full legal name, without the use of nicknames or any other verbiage. In the event a customer is unable to write his or her name, he or she may provide a signature by making his or her customary mark.
(7) "Full legal name" shall mean an individual's first name, middle name(s), and last name or surname, without use of initials or nicknames. In the event a customer's full legal name exceeds the number of characters the Department can capture using its then existing technology, the customer's full legal name shall be recorded using the truncation protocol set forth in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 9303, "Machine Readable Travel Documents" Part IV Sixth Edition, 2005 or such other standard as required under state or federal law.

Rule 375-1-1-.04 Electronic Signatures

(1) Definitions
(a) "Electronic Signature" means an electronic symbol or process attached to or associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign a record.
(b) "Electronic Record" means a record created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means.
(c) "Electronic Transaction" means a transaction conducted or performed, in whole or in part, by electronic means or electronic records.
(d) "Approved Electronic Signature Method" means a method that has been approved by the Commissioner, in accordance with this rule and all applicable state and federal laws, and which specifies the form of the electronic signature, and the significance of the use of the electronic signature.
(2) Use of Electronic Signature
(a) Where a departmental policy requires that a record have a signature of a customer or responsible person, the requirement is met when the electronic record has associated with it, an electronic signature using an approved electronic signature method.
(b) When a signature is required, the signature requirement is met when the electronic record has an electronic signature associated with it using an approved electronic signature method, in compliance with all state and federal laws.
(3) Acceptable Forms of Electronic Signature Methods

The following are approved electronic signature methods:

(a) A typed name (i.e., typed into a signature block on a website form)
(b) A digitized image of a handwritten signature that is attached to an electronic record
(c) A shared secret (i.e., password or PIN) used by a person to sign the electronic record
(d) Clicking or checking an on-screen button (i.e., clicking or checking an "I Agree" or "I Consent" button)
(e) Other reasonable and comparable methods may also be appropriate so long as it is clear to the signer that he/she is signing the record.
(4) Identification and Authentication of Signer
(a) The electronic signature must be associated with a person. The Department may require a physical or "wet" signature be on file to ensure the validity of any electronically signed record.
(b) The specific data object that constitutes the electronic signature or the overall method of signing must be able to generate evidence of the person the electronic signature belongs to, as well as generate evidence that the identified person is actually associated with the electronic record.

Rule 375-1-1-.05 Procedures for Requesting Rule Changes

(1) A person whose legal rights are affected by these rules may petition the Board of Driver Services to enact, amend, or repeal any rule pertaining to the primary responsibilities of the Department as set forth in O.C.G.A. § 40-16-2.
(2) The petition must set forth the proposed new regulation or amendment, or identify the rule for which repeal is sought and the reasons therefore. In addition, the petition must include the petitioner's name and address, and a statement of their interest in the matter. The petition shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to "Legal Division, Department of Driver Services, P.O. Box 80447, Conyers, Georgia 30013."
(3) Upon receipt of such petition by the Legal Division, the division shall consider the petition in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 50-13-9.

Rule 375-1-1-.06 Appeals

(1) Where state law permits appeal of Department decisions or actions, the subject party of such may submit an appeal request for hearing. The purpose of the appeal will be to determine whether the Department acted in accordance with the law in taking such action.
(a) Upon receipt of a timely, properly filed appeal in a contested case which is not presided over by the agency head or board or body which is the ultimate decision maker in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 50-13-41, the Department will forward the appeal and all pertinent documents to the Office of State Administrative Hearings in accordance with that agency's rules.
(b) An appeal will not stay agency action except in accordance with O.C.G.A. §§ 40-5-67.1(g)(3) and 40-9-32(c)(1).
(2) Cases shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:
(a) Initiating a case. Any person who is legally entitled to contest a ruling or order of the Department may do so by filing with the Department a request for hearing within ten (10) days after receipt of the Department's ruling or order, except where additional time is permitted under O.C.G.A. §§ 40-5-35 and 40-5-67.1. Notice is considered received three (3) days after mailing.
(b) Request for hearing shall be submitted to DDS via postal service to the address included in the notice of agency action or a Customer Service Center, on a form prescribed and furnished by the department which shall be completed in its entirety and must contain the following:
(i) The legal authority under which the appeal is filed, including all code sections;
(ii) A prayer setting forth the relief sought;
(c) All requests for a hearing must be signed by the party requesting the hearing or by the party's counsel, if represented by counsel.
(d) Limitation on right to a hearing. The Department will grant hearings as a matter of right only upon timely receipt of a complete request as described above, but may, in its discretion, allow extensions of time and amendments of requests for good cause shown. Where requests are not submitted in accordance with the above, rights to an appeal and hearing shall be considered waived.
(e) Hearings. All hearings will be held in accordance with all applicable statutes and rules.
(f) Appeals of suspensions imposed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.1.
(i) In addition to the requirements set forth in paragraph (2) (a-d), supra, any person who appeals an administrative license suspension or implied consent suspension arising under O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.1 shall submit a nonrefundable filing fee of $150.00. The timeliness provisions of paragraph (3), supra, shall apply to the payment of such fees, except that for appeals authorized by O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.1 the appeal shall be timely if received or postmarked within thirty (30) calendar days of the issuance or serve date of the notice of intent to suspend (1205 or 1205s). The hearings unit will not accept hearing requests by fax.
(ii) In hearings conducted pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.1, the arresting law enforcement officer may act on behalf of the Department as the complainant.
(iii) Withdrawal of Suspension by Arresting Officer.
1) The arresting officer may at his or her discretion withdraw the administrative license suspension at any time prior to the docketing of the case at OSAH.
2) If the licensee does not timely appeal the suspension, the suspension shall be upheld as the Final Decision of the Department by operation of law, and the arresting officer may not withdraw the administrative license suspension thereafter.
3) If the licensee submits an appeal within the statutorily allotted period for same, the arresting officer may withdraw the administrative license suspension at his or her discretion at any point prior to the issuance of the Final Decision by the Administrative Law Judge. Upon the issuance of the Final Decision, the arresting officer may not withdraw the suspension.
(iv) If the licensee does not timely appeal the suspension as set forth in paragraph (f)(i), the right to a hearing will be deemed waived.
1) The decision as to the timeliness of the hearing shall be a final decision of the Department, unless granted reconsideration.
2) If a hearing request has been deemed untimely, the licensee may request reconsideration by mail, in writing to RM - Hearing Requests, P.O. Box 80447, Conyers, Georgia 30013. The request must be received or postmarked within five (5) calendar days after the date of the decision.
3) The request for reconsideration must be submitted in writing and include:
a) A clear indication of the reasons for failure to timely submit the hearing request
b) Documentation to support the indicated reasons
c) A copy of the 1205 notice
d) Documentation from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, or any other deliver entity indicating dates of delivery.
4) The decision from the request to reconsider shall be a final decision of the Department.
(g) Any decision issued by the Department or by an Administrative Law Judge in a matter referred to the Office of State Administrative Hearings shall be the Department's Final Decision without further agency action and without the expiration of a thirty (30)-day review period unless expressly provided elsewhere in these rules or by statute.
(h) Any appeals to the superior court from a final agency decision under this rule shall be served in accordance with Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 375-1-1-.02. Agency action shall not be stayed while such appeal is pending.