Texas DPS driver's license offices deal with appointment backlog after glitch

A computer glitch that shut down Texas DPS Driver License Offices all last week has now been fixed, according to the agency. 

While all locations were back open Wednesday, many are now trying to play catch-up as they deal with a backlog of rescheduled appointments.

People visiting DPS’s South Austin office encountered long wait times Wednesday on the heels of a botched software upgrade that closed locations statewide last week, forcing thousands of cancelations. Then on Tuesday, the South Austin office specifically had to be closed due to a separate issue with a fiber optic line.

"They're just backlogged and there's not enough staff and there's too many people," said Rozana Zaifer-Sims.

DPS says it’s prioritizing customers whose appointments were canceled, saying in a statement:

"Our goal is to accommodate customers in the next two to three weeks, or at the customer’s earliest convenience. DL offices will be extending hours in high volume areas in order to accommodate rebooked appointments in the short-term. During this time, walk-in service will be very limited or unavailable at most locations…"

"Yeah, I went to a few different locations. One in Andersonville, one in Lockhart, And now I'm at this one," said Daedric Lee of Pflugerville.

Lee was one of those unlucky walk-ins, trying to track down his replacement license that he says never arrived by mail.

"They're backed up, systems down, and that they had to help me out another time," said Lee.

Elizabeth, a customer from South Austin, was among those rescheduled for Wednesday. She finally got a temporary license to replace her expired one, but not before getting pulled over.

"I showed him everything, and he said, I will let you off with a warning," said Elizabeth.

Regarding that issue, DPS Press Secretary Ericka Miller said Wednesday, "It’s important to note there is not a ‘blanket’ grace period for customers with an expired license or ID, each customer’s situation and requirements will be evaluated based on their canceled appointment date."

"The glitch itself is just maybe a symptom of a larger thing. I don't know," said Peter Franco of Southwest Austin.

Frustrated customers are quick to point out the staff at the South Austin office has been great, but the situation is less than ideal.

"Spending my day off going to multiple DPS offices. That's fun, very fun," said Lee. "I wanted to go fishing today."

Regarding the Tuesday closure of the South Austin location, Miller said, "DPS’ Austin South Office was down for a short time on Tuesday due to a fiber optic cut. Customers with appointments were routed to either the North Lamar Office or the Austin Northwest Office for services."

If you had an appointment that was canceled Sept. 5-8, and that appointment has not yet been rebooked, you are asked to email CUSTOMERSERVICEDL@dps.texas.gov and include your name, along with the date, time and location of your original appointment, as well as the preferred office for rebooking.