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Here are the longest (and shortest) wait times for a Texas driver's license

The target wait time is 45 minutes for a new license and 30 minutes for a renewal — but it rarely happens that way. 7 of the 10 worst wait times are right here in North Texas.

GARLAND, Texas — You know what’s the worst? Waiting in line at the driver's license office.

Over here, at Verify HQ, I’ve gotten a few questions asking which locations have the longest wait times in North Texas. And I've got the answer.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is the state agency that issues driver's licenses. So, I filed a request and got their data.

I learned that the state keeps separate wait-time records for new licenses — which generally take longer to process — and renewals, which are a little faster. For the sake of this story, I'm averaging those two numbers together.

And what immediately jumps out is that seven out of the 10 worst combined-wait times are in North Texas. Here they are:

  • Lake Worth: 1 hour, 45 minuted
  • Hurst: 1 hour, 47 minutes
  • Dallas-South: 1 hour, 55 minutes
  • Carrollton: 2 hours, 2 minutes
  • Plano: 2 hours, 11 minutes
  • Garland: 2 hours, 11 minutes
  • Fort Worth: 2 hours, 12 minutes
  • Grand Prairie: 2 hours, 17 minutes

The state guidelines say a customer should wait no longer than 30 minutes for a renewal, and 45 minutes for a new license. Grand Prairie has the longest waits in the state and, on average, they miss their on-time targets 86 percent of the time.

What's going on? A state review of DPS concluded the driver license program has "not been administered well." The head of DPS told lawmakers that offices are understaffed and in need of $230 million more in funding.

While it’s not clear how, or if, the state will improve wait times, I can tell which North Texas locations have the shortest average waits:

  • Waxahachie: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • McKinney: 1 hour, 1 minute
  • Lewisville: 57 minutes

What’s the fastest in the state?  Paris, in East Texas, has a combined average wait time of 19 minutes.

So, when it comes to wait times, that's the long and short of it. 

Got something you want verified? Send me an email to david@verifytv.com.

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