AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you’re putting off renewing your driver’s license because of the expiration date waiver, now is the time to make an appointment at the DMV.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reminds Texans that the waiver, which applies only to driver’s licenses that expired on or after March 13, 2020, will end on April 14.
Since services at driver’s license offices are now appointment only, the DPS encourages Texans to make their appointments as soon as possible.
Online renewal at Texas.gov is an option for many Texans. According to DPS, last year 3.2 million Texans were able to renew licenses online without ever having to step foot in 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 expanded their office hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays.
This appointment system was implemented in March 2020 to combat the difficulties of renewing licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic and make it safer for people to come into the DL offices.
“The Driver License Division has innovated to better serve constituents by implementing a new appointment solution to improve services and by providing extended hours at several locations across the state,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.
DPS urges anyone who is unable to make an appointment to reschedule or cancel in advance. In December alone, 31% of appointments were no-shows, according to the DPS.
If you are unable to get an appointment, there is a “standby” list. Standby customers will be required to wait in office and will be served in the event of a cancellation or no-show. The standby list is limited to ensure all customers are served that day, DPS said.
Difficulty renewing driver’s licenses due to the pandemic is not just an issue in Texas, DMVs across the country are experiencing backlogs in appointments, according to the Washington Post. DMVs in many states are encouraging residents to go online for appointments whenever possible.
“If you can do your DMV business online, that is the best option,” Virginia DMV spokeswoman Jessica Cowardin told the Washington Post. “Everything is different as a result of the pandemic.”