AUSTIN – On Tuesday, May 26, at the direction of Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will begin reopening driver license (DL) offices by appointment only and with limited services. The reopening of DL offices will happen in a phased approach, in order to allow DPS to keep customers and our staff as safe as possible, while also adhering to new safety guidelines and social distancing practices in place due to COVID-19. Appointment availability will be rolled out in phases, with the first phase of appointments becoming available on Friday, May 22, at 1 p.m.
SERVICES AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
A new appointment solution, which has been in the works for several months, will take effect in DL offices as they reopen. The appointment solution allows customers to book appointments for a specific day and time up to six months in advance. DPS is moving to appointments only as part of our efforts to provide additional convenience and reduce the time Texans spend waiting in line at DL offices.
Within the new online appointment system, customers can walk through the available appointment options, schedule appointments on a specific date and time, receive appointment confirmations, set up a reminder, and reschedule or cancel an existing appointment. Once customers schedule their appointment, they’ll receive a confirmation email to bring with them to their appointment.
Upon arrival at the DL office, customers can check-in with their smart device or by using the kiosk inside the office. Due to social distancing requirements related to COVID-19, we are asking that customers wait in their car after checking in. Customers will receive a text message when it’s time to come inside to complete their transaction.
LIMITED SERVICE OFFERINGS, PHASED REOPENING
As DL offices begin their phased reopening, services will be limited to customers with appointments only who are seeking a first-time Texas DL, commercial driver license (CDL), learner license or identification (ID) card, as well as those who need to take a driving test. These will be the ONLY services available at DL offices during these initial phases of reopening.
- Phase 1: Offices in DPS’ Northwest and West Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning May 26, 2020. Customers can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 22 at 1 p.m.
- Phase 2: Offices in DPS’ South and Central Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning May 29, 2020. Customers can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 26 at 1 p.m.
- Phase 3: Offices in DPS’ North and Southeast Texas regions will reopen with limited services beginning June 3, 2020. Customers can begin scheduling appointments in these two regions on May 29 at 1 p.m.
- Phase 4 will allow customers to schedule an appointment for all DL office transactions anywhere in the state and is expected to begin midsummer. DPS will announce details on this phase at a later date.
As appointments become available throughout the phased reopening plan, customers will be able to book appointments through DPS’ website at www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/.
SAFETY MEASURES FOR REOPENING
DPS is taking extensive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure customers and staff are as safe as possible during DL transactions. The following safety measures will be in place as DL offices reopen:
- All staff members and customers who are taking a driving test will be required to wear face masks or facial coverings.
- Every person (staff members and customers) will be screened for symptoms prior to coming into a DL office; this includes having their temperature checked.
- Customers may be asked to reschedule their appointment if they do not pass the safety screening.
- Only actual customers will be allowed into DL offices. This will help limit capacity and ensure everyone can maintain a safe social distance. Exceptions include: persons needing ADA accommodations; elderly persons; parents with small children; and parents and legal guardians needed to complete a transaction.
- DPS staff will sanitize workstations and equipment between each customer transaction.
- Eye examinations will no longer require physical contact with an eye testing machine.
- Customers must pay with a credit card, check or money order. NO CASH PAYMENTS.
EXTENSION REMAINS IN PLACE FOR EXPIRED CARDS
As a reminder, the extension of the expiration of Texas DL/CDL/ID/Election Identification Certificate (EIC) cards remains in effect. This means that all Texas DL/CDL/ID/EIC cards that expired on or after March 13, 2020, fall under the period that encompasses the State of Disaster Declaration related to COVID-19 and will remain valid for 60 days after which time DPS issues public notice that the extension period has been lifted and all normal operations have resumed. As of this release, that 60-day period has not begun. Due to the extension still being active, appointments for renewals will not be available until further notice.