Governor Dennis Daugaard wants to cut the wait time for people trying to get and renew their driver's licenses in Sioux Falls.
He's announced a Driver Licensing Improvement Plan that will address long wait times in the Sioux Falls area and make the Driver Licensing system more efficient and convenient to customers statewide.
The state says a combination of staff shortages and a busy summer season have created longer wait times than normal. On Tuesday, KELOLAND News spoke with a couple who had tried for two days to get a license renewed. The long lines often spill into the hallway at the station located in the Minnehaha County Administration Building. The noise from people waiting was cited as a reason when the county commission decided not to renew the driver licensing station's lease.
The six parts of the Driver Licensing Improvement Plan are:
- Extended hours of operation - Extending special hours of operation at the two Sioux Falls exam stations to each stay open until 7 p.m.
- Employee overtime - Authorizing overtime as needed to respond to the increased traffic at stations during times of staff shortages.
- Hiring and training - Instituting aggressive hiring and training programs to fill vacancies.
- Advance scheduling - Announcing the development of a system allowing citizens to schedule their driver license and non-driver ID card renewals and duplicate licenses.
- Self-service kiosks - Signing a contract for the installation of self-service kiosks at several exam stations.
- Temporary licenses - Urging citizens in immediate need of renewal services but unable or unwilling to wait in line to call the Driver Licensing Program in Pierre to obtain a temporary license, good for six months, under the current process. The number to call is 1-800-952-3696.
The Director of the Driver Licensing Program, Cindy Gerber, says the efforts should cut wait times immediately, but the advance scheduling and self-service kiosks will take time to implement.
The Sioux Falls exam station at 3716 S. Westport Avenue will be open until 7 p.m. on weekdays, effective Wednesday. The station at 415 N. Dakota Avenue, which offers renewal services, will extend its closing time from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. as soon as the change is approved by the county.