People Are Waiting Outdoors All Night for Driver's Licenses in Texas

Texas DPS appointment-only measures have created lengthy waits for licenses.

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Photo: Tony Webster

Over the last year, physically making a trip of a Department of Motor Vehicles anywhere in the United States has been made even more agonizing than it was before the pandemic. I had to renew my license last September and thankfully I was able to renew online with vision exam results from an optometrist. People in the state of Texas have had it far worse.

NBC 5 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area reported that people in North Texas are lining up for same-day appointments outside of driver’s licenses offices of the Texas Department of Public Safety. When Texas DPS reopened its driver’s license offices in July 2020, it was under an appointment-only basis. However, people who would like to schedule an appointment online today will have to wait until early 2022 for their appointment due to limited availability.

The only other option for residents who need a license sooner is to arrive in-person for a same-day standby appointment. Residents have turned out in large numbers to seek out DPS services. Those who waited in line at two separate offices estimated to NBC 5 that up to 100 people were waiting in line each night with only around 25 people able to book an appointment. One woman was reported as stating that she was number 111 after arriving at 5 a.m. Others arrived as early as 2 a.m.

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Please be aware that not every Texas DPS driver’s license office offers same-day appointments. Texas DPS made some effort to attempt to fulfill demand in 2020, by opening offices on Saturdays and having extended hours during the summer. Both changes have been discontinued. While DPS now lists wait times on their website, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for those in immediate need of a driver’s license. Texas residents will have to continue to camp out and sleep on concrete sidewalks to get a license.