DPS gets over $200 million to help shorten wait times

Governor Greg Abbott announced more than $200 million in additional funding for the Department of Public Safety to help shorten wait times for Texans getting their driver’s licenses.

From fighting with other cars to snag a parking spot outside, to waiting in multiple lines, to then sitting in a crowded room—there’s nothing more dreadful than waiting in line for hours in the Houston heat just to get your driver’s license.

“When you mark your calendar ‘DPS day’-- that’s it. You come home and you’re ready to go to bed. It’s a long process. You already know that once you come here and do your DPS thing, it’s an all-day event. You have to cancel all errands and cut everything out because you’re going to be at DPS at least 4-5 hours,” said Demetrius Wimberly.

“I went to one on Westheimer and Gessner once and the line was wrapped around the corner. I was like wow are you kidding me. And then I went to another one and the line was around the corner too,” Wimberly continued.

“The last time I was here, the line was way over there and sometimes it would cut over there and be out here. And the worst part about it is-- you wait in line that long to get in a line that’s digital,” Greg Dunbar said.

“I feel bad for the elderly folk. They come and wait in line and you see them sit in wheelchairs out in the sun. Look, it’s hot out here. This is Houston. We got three cold days out of the year. Three!” Dunbar continued.

On Monday, Abbott announced that an additional $212.4 million in funding will be appropriated to DPS, adding more than 700 new employees to help with staffing and shortening wait times.  

“I signed this directive to the head of the Dept. of Public Safety to take immediate action to shorten lines at driver’s license offices because your time is too precious,” Abbott said.

A spokesperson with DPS said the department has developed an aggressive hiring plan to get hundreds of new employees in place as soon as possible. Their goal is to have new staff trained and ready to go by the end of the year.