New Texas megacenters hope to ease wait at driver's license offices

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by JASON WHITELY / WFAA

khou.com

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 9:51 AM

GARLAND - For decades, the wait has been dreadful.

"We drove over to the one on Northwest Highway, and there were people out the door," said mother Misty Nolen.

That's just an average day at Texas driver's license offices.

"The one in McKinney, they have a couple people up at the front desk," Allinisse Kellum said. "You have to wait a long time. It's just really inconvenient."

News 8 walked in to an hour-long wait at the Garland location.

"See, that's the queuing system, and they wait for their number to be called," said Texas DPS Trooper Robert White. "This lady here has been waiting since 11:00 a.m."

And if you need to take a driver's test, that's a four-week wait here.

Texas has more than 220 places to get a license, but the Department of Public Safety still can't keep up with the state's expanding population. For the first time in years, that's about to change.

"The driver's license centers now, especially this one here in Garland, can handle up to 350 transactions a day," White said. "The megacenters should have the capacity to handle over 1,500."

The state is spending almost $60 million on six new megacenters. North Texas is getting two. Dallas' new megacenter is a converted department store on Saturn Road in Garland.

That 40-year-old Garland office is not closing. In fact, none of the existing ones are.

The state's new megacenters will hopefully lessen that wait, leaving the existing offices a little less crowded.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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