UPDATED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 1:55pm
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging residents to beat the summer rush at driver license offices across the state by renewing their license or identification card early or online. The summer months are typically the busiest time of year at driver license offices, and individuals can avoid the crowds during this time. Residents who are eligible can skip the trip to the office completely via online renewal of their license, identification card or change of address at Texas.gov.
"The summer months can mean more customers at driver license offices with students and families out of school or off work, but many Texans can avoid the rush or even skip the trip to the office altogether," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "DPS currently offers several customer-convenient options, including online renewal of licenses and identification cards and our new high-capacity driver license mega centers in major metropolitan areas."
Licenses must be renewed in person every 12 years, so an updated photo can be taken and eyesight can be tested. If residents need to come into the office to renew, they can do so within one year prior to the expiration date, which means they can pick a time that is convenient for their schedule.
To be eligible to renew online, the expiration date on the card must be within one year. When a resident renews their card, the expiration date on the new card will be six years after the current card's expiration date, even if customers renew early. The renewal fee is the same for online, in-person and telephone renewals.
In order to renew online, the card cannot have been expired for more than two years. Requirements for renewing online are available at Texas.gov.
If Texans do need to visit a driver license office, DPS is encouraging customers in the major metro areas to visit mega centers in their areas.
The six driver license mega centers are located in the Metroplex, Houston, San Antonio and Austin areas and feature technology that allows customers to reserve a place in line before arriving at the office. Customers can virtually enter the line via phone, mobile device or the Internet. The system also allows customers to adjust their place in line - for instance, if they are running late, they can push themselves back in line. Walk-in customers can use self-service check-in kiosks and have the option of returning later, closer to their appointment time.
For additional information about the new mega centers and the technology that allows you to get in line before coming into the office, visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/getinlinebeforeyougo.htm
In addition, driving tests at some locations can be scheduled online without a trip to an office. To find out which offices offer online scheduling for driving tests or to book an appointment, visit:
Visit the DPS website to make sure you have the proper paperwork (including documents needed for the new residency requirements) before making the trip to the office: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/ApplyforLicense.htm.
To find out more about online renewal services, visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/OnlineServices.htm.