DPS ‘mega Centers' Keep Drivers Waiting Despite Extra Funding, Political Pressure

Hours-long waits continue to frustrate Dallas-area drivers hoping to renew their licenses at the state's "mega centers," a year after additional manpower and other resources were devoted to the problem.“It shouldn’t be like this,” said Angelique Harbin, who spent four hours and a vacation day to get a piece of paper that will serve as a temporary permit until her new license arrives in the mail in two weeks. The 42-year-old from Grand Prairie was one of dozens of people who endured long waits last week at the driver license mega center in Red Bird. The centers, run by the Department of Public Safety, opened in 2012 to help reduce wait times at smaller offices. Besides the southern Dallas center, there are three others in North Texas, in Carrollton, Garland and Fort Worth. Long lines are also the norm at smaller offices in Plano and McKinney.Last year, DPS added 100 employees to its mega centers. The announcement came days after a Dallas Morning News story about customers at the Carrollton center who reported up to eight-hour wait times. In the meantime, state legislators have repeatedly called out the agency for ongoing problems at the centers, and Gov. Greg Abbott went so far as to call its efforts “despicable.”“The way DPS has handled driver's licenses in the state of Texas is despicable, and it has been nonresponsive,” Abbott said at a March news conference. DPS officials did not respond to numerous calls and emails seeking comment.  Continue reading...

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