The Texas Department of Public Safety wants to shorten lines at some driver's license offices -- but DPS officials also are asking Texans to take advantage of online, phone and mail-in options for license transactions.
Customers who arrive at driver's license offices in Texas now will be asked about their eligibility to renew their licenses from home. Many of the millions of Texas drivers who choose to renew their licenses in person actually are qualified to renew at home without waiting in line.
In early July, DPS implemented what's known as limited-transaction initiative driver's license offices in Temple, Conroe, Dacoma, Rockwall, Plano and Grand Prairie. These locations are known for their particularly lengthy wait times. At these specific offices, staff have been prioritizing in-office service specifically to drivers who are required to be there.
"The results of that limited-transaction initiative produced an average 44 percent decrease in in-office transactions, as well as an increase in online transactions," according to a DPS press release.
"Eligible customers who do not wish to renew by phone or online will be offered a paper form that would allow them to mail in their transaction request," the release added.
This initiative soon is to expand to several dozen additional Texas cities, including the Brazos Valley city of Brenham, starting Aug. 27. Other Central and South Texas offices affected will include Waco, Corsicana, southeast Houston, Hempstead, Rosenberg, Humble, Cleveland, Huntsville and Beaumont.
Additionally, 100 new staff positions will be created to deal with the flow of in-person license transactions.
DPS urged all Texas customers to check their eligibility for license renewal online or over the phone. To renew by phone, drivers may call 1-866-DL-RENEW (1-886-357-3639). Calls do not have to be made over smartphones, and DPS offices provide at least one pay phone in each lobby. Customers also may check their eligibility to renew online by visiting Texas.gov.
DPS also noted in the release that many driver's license offices offer an online queuing system in which a customer may reserve a spot in line. For those taking driving tests, these tests can be scheduled up to three months in advance. Customers also are encouraged to renew their licenses early.
For more information, visit www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/OnlineServices.htm.