PLANO, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott sent a directive this week to the Texas Department of Public Safety ordering an immediate fix for long waits at the state's driver licensing offices.
“The Texas Legislature heard you, loud and clear,” Abbott said in a video posted on Twitter. “You are tired of wasting your time waiting in long lines just to get your driver's license. To fix that, the legislature provided $200 million to add the staff that are needed to speed the process.”
Legislators added about $200 million this year to the DPS budget for its driver's license offices, for a total of about $500 million in the driver licensing budget.
The extra funding is set to go into effect Sept. 1.
The additional spending will pay for 762 new employees and gives current employees raises.
Abbott said there needs to be more action to reduce wait times.
"Well today, I signed this directive to the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety to take immediate action to shorten lines at Driver's License Offices because your time is too precious," Abbott said.
DPS officials said they agree with the governor that "Texans should not have to wait in long lines at driver license offices."
Once the added funding goes into effect, the department will move quickly to fill hundreds of new positions to shorten the wait times at the busiest offices.
At the driver's license center in both Plano and McKinney, there were long lines on Tuesday.
“I think it’s kind of sad that we can’t get this better organized,” said Sharon O’dell outside the Plano center. “I don’t know the answer, but there’s gotta be a better way than have all of us stand out here in the heat.”
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