Government
11:43 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Driver's License Mega Center May Reduce Wait Times

Most of us have had or know someone who’s had the experience of standing in a long line – sometimes up to two hours – to apply for a new driver’s license or take a new photo.

Now, officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety are promising shorter lines for those and other services at their new "Mega Center" in Leon Valley, which opened on Friday, January 18.

The DPS Driver’s License Mega Center is the state’s answer to long lines in six locations, including Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, two in Houston, and San Antonio.

“It’s large. It’s about 24,000 square feet,” said State Representative Justin Rodriguez, who, along with State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon and State Senator Leticia Van De Putte, toured the new mega center. Rodriguez says there is new technology that allows users to enter their information on their phones and can receive a text message notifying them of the current wait time for services. He said it’s not quite like the paging device at your local restaurant, but it’s the next best thing and, hopefully, shortens the lines.

“It’s not quite a standing reservation, but you can call it and say, ‘I’m going to be there in 30 minutes,’ and it puts you in the queue. You have a number by the time you get there,” Rodriguez said.

The mega centers also offer electronic kiosks for quick services, but the center does not offer any commercial licensing services.

Rodriguez says all of the four existing DPS offices are to remain open for now. The Mega Center is located at Evers and Huebner on San Antonio's northwest side.