Governor Dennis Daugaard is announcing a plan to speed up wait times and make services more efficient at the DMV.
"My staff has been working on it, but I have just become aware recently about the long wait times and it's unacceptable and we needed to take some action," Governor Dennis Daugaard said.
That action is a six-point plan to make licensing more efficient and convenient. It will extend hours of operation at the two Sioux Falls exam stations until 7 p.m. Employee overtime will be authorized as needed, and new aggressive hiring and training policies will be put in place.
When it comes to renewing your license, the new plan will allow for advance scheduling, which means citizens will be able to go online to schedule appointments for renewals and duplicate licenses. This will be implemented in Sioux Falls and Rapid City in the next few weeks on a trial basis.
"This way, you can maybe set an appointment ahead of time and when you go there ahead of time, you'd know you'd be helped fairly quickly," Daugaard said.
While it will take up to 10 months to get into place, self-serve kiosks will also be installed at several exam stations around the state. The kiosks, paid for through a federal grant, allow drivers to complete part of the application or renewal process themselves.
And finally, people needing immediate temporary licenses can call the Driver Licensing Program in Pierre at 1-800-952-3696. The temporary license will be good for six months.
Governor Daugaard says all of the changes are to help the citizens being served.
"I apologize for the wait some of our citizens had to endure and I promise we're going to work hard to do better," Daugaard said.
The Governor says he believes the long wait times have come from the summer rush, coupled with staff turnover.
The long waits have also resulted in the Minnehaha County Commission voting this week to not renew the lease of the driver's license bureau in the County Administration building because of people spilling into the hallway and creating distractions.