UPDATED: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 2:05pm
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding residents to take advantage of new driver license mega centers as one option to avoid busy summer months at local offices. The six mega centers – located in Austin, Houston, the Metroplex and San Antonio – feature cutting-edge technology and high-capacity facilities designed to more efficiently process customers.
“We are dedicated to ensuring driver license customers have a quick and efficient visit to our offices, and the new mega centers were specifically designed to help accomplish that goal,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “As with any change, DPS has been customizing various processes and the new technology implementation at these new high-capacity offices. We are pleased to report that overall, mega centers are performing well and have been successful in providing the level of customer service Texans expect and deserve. And accordingly, we’re encouraging customers to visit these offices before and during the busy summer months that we’re quickly approaching.”
Customer wait times at the six new mega centers averaged approximately 16 minutes for all transaction types since opening to the public. Average approximate wait times for walk-in customers at each office vary: Austin-Pflugerville (9 minutes); Dallas-Garland (13 minutes); Fort Worth (11 minutes); Houston-Rosenberg (20 minutes); Houston-Spring (30 minutes); and San Antonio-Leon Valley (10 minutes).
Mega centers leverage new technology to help DPS employees more effectively serve customers at these driver license offices, including a new queuing system. The innovative system offers customers the convenient option to reserve a spot in line without going to the office. Customers can virtually enter the line via cell phone, online or using a land line.
The system also provides customers interactive options allowing them to make adjustments to their place in line – for instance, if they are running late, they can push themselves back in line. Walk-in customers can use self-service check-in kiosks and have the option of returning later, closer to their appointment time, while communicating with the DPS office by text or phone call.
DPS also offers several convenient options to help customers avoid crowds, including early, online and phone renewal of licenses and identification cards. To be eligible to renew online, the card’s expiration date must be within one year, and the card cannot have been expired for more than two years. Requirements for renewing online are available at Texas.gov.
To view the various online services, and for more information about Texas driver licenses and identification cards, visit: http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/OnlineServices.htm.
Licenses must be renewed in person every 12 years, so an updated photo can be taken and eyesight can be tested. If residents need to come into the office to renew, they can do so within one year prior to the expiration date, which means they can pick a time that is convenient for their schedule.
To learn more about Driver License Mega Centers or to find the location nearest you, visit: http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/getinlinebeforeyougo.htm.