AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The Texas Department of Public Safety is continuing its phased reopening of driver’s license offices.
On Tuesday, DPS announced it will expand in-person services, which will include renewal and replacement appointments and some Saturday appointments.
Back in May, DPS launched an appointment program that offered limited services. Now, all services are available by appointment only.
DPS reports nearly 700,000 Texans had their licenses expire while offices were closed due to COVID-19, which has now created a backlog of customers who need to renew their license.
The extension for expiration dates that was granted in response to the pandemic remains in effect. If your driver’s license expired on or after March 13, 2020, it will remain valid for 60 days after DPS issues a public notice that the extension period for the disaster declaration has been lifted.
This 60-day notice has not yet been issued.
Services are now offered through this appointment portal.
When a customer shows up for an appointment, they can only show up to check in 30 minutes prior to their scheduled time. To maintain social distancing guidelines, anyone who arrives earlier than that is asked to wait in their cars.
Limited Saturday appointments will be offered for renewals and replacements only. Currently, select offices will be open Saturday, July 11 and Saturday, July 25. DPS said it will continue to add Saturday availability into the appointment portal.
For customers who do not use the online scheduling system, all driver’s license offices have a limited number of same-day, in-person appointments. These appointments can be booked in-person, but then the customer will be asked to leave the office and return only at their scheduled time slot.
DPS is also reminding Texans that online services are also always available.
DPS said approximately 150,000 of the 700,000 whose licenses expired can conduct their transaction online, by phone or by mail.
At all DPS offices, customers and staff are required to wear face masks, according to the Governor’s executive order. Every person will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to their appointment.
To reduce contamination, eye examinations will no longer require physical contact with the eye testing machine.
Customers can only pay with credit cards, checks or money orders. Cash will not be accepted.