How to renew your TX DLs and state IDs at the very last minute

Texas Drivers License and Vehicle Registration Example
Posted at 12:21 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 14:00:51-04

AUSTIN, TX — On April 15, the pandemic-related waiver given to expired driver licenses (DLs) and identification cards (IDs) has officially ended.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) continues to urge customers with an expired DL or ID to make an appointment or renew online today.

What if I was unable to make an appointment prior to the waiver ending today?

To help assist their customers, DPS has implemented a new procedure that allows drivers to request a temporary driving permit that will stay valid until their appointment date. For more information, CLICK HERE.

As stated by DPS, the expiration waiver, originally granted by Governor Greg Abbott in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards, and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020.

Can I still drive with an expired license?

According to DPS, the agency cannot determine what action a law enforcement officer or the court may take if someone is stopped while driving with an expired license as both have discretion in these matters.

Can I renew online or via phone?

According to the DPS website, many Texans are actually eligible to skip needing to go to a DPS office to renew their DL or ID card or changing their address by simply going online. As of April 1, 2021, DPS reports an estimated 858,000 expired driver licenses in their system. Of those, about 130,700 are eligible to renew online.

Customers can also renew by phone at 1-866-DL-RENEW (1-866-357-3639). The requirements and costs for online and phone renewal are the same as in-person transactions. (When you schedule an appointment, you will be notified if you are eligible to renew online.)

What are DPS office hours?

To assist their customers needing in-office DL services, designated high-volume offices will continue their extended hours from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M., Monday through Thursday, and 7 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. on Fridays.

How to schedule an appointment:

As of April 15, all services at driver license offices are now conducted by appointment only.

To schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler.

What if I can't find an appointment that works for me?

If you are unable to find an appointment at the office of your choice, DPS asks that you check back for availability at that office or other locations nearby. Stating, availability can and does change.

If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, DPS asks that you reschedule or cancel ahead of time.

What if I schedule an appointment I can no longer make?

As DPS is working to serve as many customers as possible, people not showing up for their appointments continues to reportedly be a major obstacle.

In March 2021, for example, approximately 28% of people (or more than 198,000 customers) were no-shows for their appointments.

What changes to their new appointment system benefit me?

The appointment system, which debuted in May 2020, allows customers to book appointments for a specific day and time, up to six months in advance, and show up 30 minutes or less before their scheduled time. Customers can also check-in using the kiosk inside the office or from their mobile devices.

All DPS offices offer a limited number of same-day appointments. These appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers who book these appointments can leave the DL office until their designated time.

Additionally, most offices may be able to offer some customers without an appointment a spot on a “standby” list. These customers are required to wait in the office and are assisted in the event of a cancelation or no-show. The number of standby appointments available is limited to ensure all customers who are placed on the list will be served by the end of the day.

Should I still wear a mask and stay physically distant at the DPS office?

To ensure a safe environment, COVID-19 protocols have been implemented at DL offices.

DPS offices in the Brazos Valley:
Brazos County

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Robertson County

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Leon County

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Madison County

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Burlseon County

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Washington County

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