DPS: Driver licenses expiration waiver ends in April

Special to the Bulletin
Texas Department of Public Safety

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding the public the waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses (DLs) and identification cards (IDs) ends on April 14, 2021. Customers who need to renew are urged to make an appointment or renew online today.

The waiver, granted by Governor Greg Abbott in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020.

Driver License employees have worked diligently to help Texans during challenging times and should be commended for their dedication,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “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.”

Online renewals still a convenient option

Many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office entirely by renewing their DL/ID card or changing their address online at Texas.gov. Customers can also renew by phone at 1-866-DL-RENEW (1-866-357-3639). The requirements and cost for online and phone renewal are the same as in-person transactions.

Expanded office hours

To assist customers needing in-office DL services, designated high-volume offices are offering expanded hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Scheduling an appointment

Services at driver license offices are now conducted by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler. If you are unable to find an appointment at the office of your choice, check back for availability at that office or other locations nearby. Please check often as availability does change.

If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please reschedule or cancel it ahead of time. While the department is working to serve as many customers as possible, people with appointments not showing up continues to be a major obstacle. In December 2020, for example, approximately 31% of people were no-shows for their appointments.

The appointment system, which debuted in May 2020, is designed to provide additional convenience, reducing the time Texans wait in line. Customers can book appointments for a specific day and time, up to six months in advance, and show up 30 minutes or less before their scheduled time. Customers can check-in using the kiosk inside the office or from their mobile device.

All offices offer a limited number of same-day appointments. These appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers who book these appointments can leave the DL office until their designated time.

Additionally, most offices also offer customers without an appointment a spot on a “standby” list. These customers are required to wait in the office and are assisted in the event of a cancelation or no-show. The number of standby appointments available is limited to ensure all customers who are placed on the list will be served by the end of the day.

To ensure a safe environment, COVID-19 protocols have been implemented at DL offices.