Driver license birth dates get a little easier to spot

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 4:36am
Staff reports

Starting Wednesday, the Tennessee Department of Safety will begin issuing driver licenses with the date of birth in larger red type designed to make it easier for retailers to read.

“We are pleased to announce that the type size of the date of birth on the Tennessee driver license has been enlarged to comply with the ‘Gus Kampas Act’, which was adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Bredesen in 2008,” said Department of Safety Deputy Commissioner Greta Dajani.

Recently passed legislation, Public Chapter 638 of the Public Acts of 2008 required that the size of the type for the date of birth on the Tennessee driver license be the same size as the driver license number.

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Tim Burchett and Sen. Doug Overby of Knoxville, Rep. Kent Williams of Elizabethton, Rep. Dale Ford of Jonesborough and Rep. Eric Watson of Cleveland.

Prior to the new law, the driver license number was already a larger font size than most other personal information on the plastic laminated card. Senate Bill 3116 of 2008 requires that the date of birth be in red.

The Gus Kampas Act is named after the owner of Kampas Liquors on Alcoa Highway in Knoxville. The purpose of the legislation was to make it easier for retailers to see the date of birth on the Tennessee Driver License to quickly determine eligibility for the purchase of merchandise based on age requirements.

The provisions of the amendment to TCA 55-50-331(b) applies only to the issuance of new or renewed driver licenses. Public Chapter 638 does not require driver license holders to obtain a new driver license unless the person is applying for a new license, a replacement driver license or renewing an existing Tennessee driver license.


2 Comments on this post:

By: Terrier on 6/30/09 at 6:26

Makes perfectly good sense. I don't quite understand why something so ridiculously obvious had to have a law passed to make it come to be... Seems like they could have just made it so without all the hoopla. But, what would we do without red tape?

By: jdunaway65 on 6/30/09 at 11:52

I'm wondering why it was called the Gus Kampas Act, though. Although the article (and others I found online) says whom it was named after, it doesn't say WHY it was named after him. Did he lobby the state to make the numbers more visible? If so, was it as a challenge to him almost losing his liquor license because one was illegible?

Again, I'm not blaming the CP for lack of info. Based on other articles I read from other state sources, they say almost exactly the same thing, so I assume the state is not giving complete information here...