The Driver License Office in Temple is making changes to address summer-related safety concerns.
Central Texas News Now was told it's normal to see a large crowd waiting outside the Temple location for hours in order to be served.
But, a DPS spokesperson informed Central Texas News Now that 59 percent of the visits to the Temple location last year wasn't necessary and could have been handled over the phone, online or in the mail.
"The waiting room was overflowing, you couldn't get a seat inside and our wait was about one and a half hours," Robert Bainbridge said.
That's been the case this summer at six different Drivers License Office locations across the state, including the location in Temple.
"Yesterday morning, about 9 a.m. I went out to meet with the customer service representatives and the supervisor for the department. The facility was full, all the chairs were filled and there were already two or three people sitting on the curb outside," Representative Hugh Shine said.
Bainbridge and his family had to wait outside, too.
"There's really no place to wait out here. There are no benches. There's no shade. You're just out in the sun," Bainbridge said.
So, in order to keep people out of the Texas heat, the Department of Public Safety is only offering mandatory in-office services until the end of August.
"I saw them turn several people away that were renewing drivers licenses, which got some people out of the line, but nevertheless, we were still overcrowded here today," Bainbridge said.
In 2017, the Temple Driver License Office made over 30,000 transactions.
"21,017 of those were renewals and duplicates, and 18,124 of those could have been done online, by telephone or in the mail," Rep. Shine said.
Representative Shine met with DPS over the weekend to discuss possible solutions to the problem, but due to contracts and restrictions, a change in hours, a temporary move or a mobile unit aren't possible.
"I suggested that they put up some canopies and get some mister fans to at least do something immediately to take care of the heat issue that they were most concerned about in the first place," Rep. Shine said.
Representative Shine and DPS spokespeople said they will be addressing this in the next legislative session, hoping to get the Temple location, along with others, a larger office space with more staff.
For people who typically visit the Temple location, and would prefer to still go inside for service, alternative full-service locations are:
1. Killeen Driver License Office (5100 West Elms Rd. Killeen, TX 76549)
2. Georgetown Driver License Office (1070 Westinghouse Rd. Georgetown, TX 78626)
Before visiting the Temple Driver License Office, the Department of Public Safety encourages you to call 1-866-DL-RENEW or check online to determine if it is necessary for you to come into the office for service or if you can take care of it online, over the phone or in the mail.
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