Texas Waiver On Driver's Licenses, IDs Expirations Set To End

·4 min read

AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday today announced that the waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses and identification cards ends on April 14, 2021.

As a result, customers needing to renew are urged to make an appointment today.

The waiver spurred by the coronavirus in March applies to driver's licenses, commercial driver's licenses, commercial learner permits, identification cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13.

To assist customers, designated offices will be offering expanded hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, starting on Jan. 4, 2021. Appointments are already being accepted for the additional hours, officials noted. The participating offices were selected based on the volume of customer transactions, officials added.

In addition, this Saturday (Dec. 19) is the last day for Saturday appointments, which are still available at many locations across the state.

Online renewals remain as a convenient option, officials noted. Many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office entirely by renewing their DL/ID card or changing their address online at Texas.gov. Customers can also renew by phone at 1-866-357-3639 (1-866-DL-RENEW). The requirements and cost for online and phone renewal are the same as in-person transactions.

Scheduling an appointment

DPS launched a new appointment solution when DL offices reopened in May, and all services are now conducted by appointment only. (Driver's license offices have implemented several COVID-19 protocols to ensure a safe environment.) To schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler. Those unable to find an appointment at the office of their choice are urged to check back for availability at that office or other locations nearby. "Please check often as availability does change," officials advised.

The appointment system is designed to provide additional convenience, officials said, reducing the time Texans wait in line. Customers can book appointments for a specific day and time, up to six months in advance, and show up 30 minutes or less before their scheduled time. Customers can check in using the kiosk inside the office or from their mobile device.

Officials remind those unable to make their scheduled appointment to change it ahead of time as customers not showing up "...has become a major issue statewide," officials wrote in an advisory. From May 26 through Nov. 30, approximately 27 percent of people were no-shows for their appointments, officials said.

To help combat that issue, many offices are offering customers without an appointment a spot on a “standby” list. These customers are required to wait in the office and are assisted in the event of a cancellation or no-show. The number of standby appointments available is limited to ensure all customers who are placed on the list will be served by the end of the day.

Additionally, a limited number of same-day appointments will be available at each office. These appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers who book these appointments can leave the DL office until their designated time.

Three ways to renew your vehicle registration:

  1. Online: Visit http://www.TxDMV.gov or www.Texas.gov. This is the quickest and least expensive way to renew. Save $1 if you renew online. Online renewal is available up to nine months past your registration expiration date.

  2. Mail: Return the bottom portion of your registration renewal form, payment and other required information to your county tax assessor-collector.

  3. In Person: Visit the office of your county tax assessor-collector. In many counties, in-person renewal is also available at other locations, such as certain grocery stores. Contact your county tax office to check hours and locations.

Reminder: Before renewing registration, Texans will need to obtain a passing vehicle inspection at the state vehicle inspection station of their choice — unless their vehicle is exempt from inspection requirements.

Note: The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles does not issue driver licenses or state ID cards. Texans should contact the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) at www.dps.texas.gov/driverlicense/ for these services.

This article originally appeared on the Austin Patch

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