Texas Legislature Looks to Cut Wait Times at DPS Offices

The Texas House wants to invest $200 million into the state's driver's license program - and possibly move it to a new agency.

The state's Senate Finance Committee this week heard from Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw on the agency's request for an additional $420 million to staff driver's license offices and increase the number of locations.

State Sen. John Whitmire , D-Houston, is a longtime critic of how DPS operates driver's license facilities.

“Somebody said 'we put somebody on the Moon, but we can't get a driver's license office to run efficiently,'” he said. “I don't know if it's a lack of prioritization, but they can do better. They must do better.”

Whitmire however, is hesitant to shift the entire program to the Department of Motor Vehicles instead.

“Going from one bureaucracy to another is not necessarily the answer,” he said. “I just think DPS needs to focus on it and tell the Legislature what they need to make it work.”

“They do great patrol work. They're doing border security. I'm of the opinion it's an administrative job instead of a law enforcement job and I think they treat it like such.”

Whitmire says part of the solution is publicizing and steering people toward online services so they don't have to wait in line.

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