HOUSTON--It s high noon at DPS, and the line at South Gessner s driver s license office stretches out the door and down the sidewalk.

I set aside the whole day to try and get this knocked out, said Mike Smith.  Looks like it s going to take half a day just to get inside the doors.

Across town at the Dacoma office, frustration is running high.

I can t afford to continue to take days off, said Rico Valley.  My employer won t stand for it.

If the line to get a license is long, the wait for an actual road test can be as long two months.

I don t think there s enough knowledge as to why the waits exist, said Tom Carter, a senior regional manager for the Driver s License Division. And secondly, that we re even trying to do anything about it.

The fact is the state s population has grown 21-percent in the last 10 years, and DPS staffing as remained the same, the result of budget constraints. That changed last legislative session, when state lawmakers set aside $63 million to address the problem.

We re building six mega-centers statewide, two of them here in the Houston area, said Carter.

The move will increase staff by 25-percent and reduce average wait times from hours, in some cases to 30 or 45 minutes

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