AUSTIN (KXAN) – If you are postponing your driver’s license renewal due to the waiver of the expiration date, now is the time to make an appointment with the DMV.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding Texans that the waiver, which applies only to driver’s licenses that expire on or after March 13, 2020, ends on April 14.
Since the services in the driver’s license offices are only offered by appointment, the DPS urges Texans to make their appointments as soon as possible.
Renewing online at Texas.gov is an option for many Texans. According to DPS, 3.2 million Texans were able to renew licenses online last year without ever having to enter an office.
If you cannot renew online, in-office appointments can be made online at dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense. Designated high volume offices, including Austin North and South, have extended their office hours from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays.
This appointment system was introduced in March 2020 to combat the difficulties of renewing licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic and to make people’s access to DL offices safer.
“The Driver’s Licensing Department has innovated to better serve constituents by implementing a new appointment solution to improve services and offering longer hours in multiple locations across the state,” said Steven McCraw, director of DPS.
DPS asks everyone who cannot make an appointment to postpone an appointment or to cancel it in advance. In December alone, according to the DPS, 31% of the dates did not appear.
If you can’t make an appointment, there’s a standby list. Standby customers have to wait in the office and will be served in the event of cancellation or no-show. The standby list is limited to ensure all customers are served that day, DPS said.
Difficulty getting driver renewals due to the pandemic isn’t just a problem in Texas, DMVs across the country are backlogged on appointments, according to the Washington Post. DMVs in many states encourage residents to go online whenever possible to schedule appointments.
“If you can do your DMV business online, this is your best option,” Jessica Cowardin, Virginia DMV spokeswoman, told the Washington Post. “The pandemic has changed everything.”