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Long Lines And Summer Heat Cause Safety Concerns At DPS Offices

DPS staff will begin redirecting customers who can handle their requests by phone, mail, or online

The summer heat is causing safety concerns as customers wait in long lines outside the Texas Department of Public Safety offices.

The department said in a press release too few people are using online, phone, or mail options for their driver’s licenses.

To cut down on lines, six of its overcrowded offices will only provide services that require a trip to the DPS.

Two of those six are in the Houston-area. If you show up to the Conroe or Houston-Dacoma office and your transaction doesn’t require you to be there, the staff will send you away. Customers who still want to handle transactions in person can go to the Houston Southeast Mega Center or the Spring Mega Center.

DPS said it will be redirecting customers from the Monday, July 9th through Friday, August 31.

Other DPS offices participating include the Denton, Plano, Rockwall, and Temple offices.

The Texas Department of Public Safety provides a list of online services on its website.

DPS provided the following tips to increase convenience in a press release:

  • Prior to coming to the office, call 1-866-DL-RENEW (1-866-357-3639) or check online to determine if your transaction — whether the renewal of a Texas DL or identification (ID) card or an address change — can actually be handled online, by phone or by mail. By doing so, eligible customers can skip the trip to a DL office and, in turn, decrease transaction times for customers required to go into an office.
  • High-capacity DL Mega Centers are available in major metropolitan areas to better serve customers.
  • Mega Centers and certain DL offices utilize a queuing system to provide customers with the convenient option of reserving a spot in line through the DPS website, by mobile phone or a landline before going to the office. For a list of the high-capacity Mega Centers, as well as the specific DL offices that offer the “Get in Line, Online” feature, visit the DPS website.
  • In many offices, you can schedule a drive test online three months in advance. Customers are urged to plan ahead and not delay scheduling a drive appointment.
  • Another underutilized option available to customers is to renew their DL or ID card early. You can renew up to two years in advance, and renewing early does not impact the expiration date. If an office visit is required, renewing early allows customers to choose a convenient time that best fits their schedule and avoids the busiest times at the DL office.
  • Mondays and Fridays tend to be the busiest days, as well as after holidays. Overall, summer is the busiest time of the year. Try to plan your visit around these high-volume times, if possible.
  • Before you go to the office, make sure you have all the proper documentation, including documents needed for residency requirements. 

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Davis Land

Davis Land

General Assignments Reporter

Davis Land is a general assignment reporter for Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media/Transom.org in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a...

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