Gainesville’s driver license office and others across the region will extend Saturday operations through December to accommodate appointments for driver license or ID card renewals, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced Monday, Sept. 21.
Starting Saturday, Oct. 3, through Dec. 19, offices will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. only for appointments to renew driver licenses or ID cards. Offices won’t be open Nov. 28 due to the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a DPS press release
DPS started allowing Saturday appointments Sept. 19 at select driver license offices, including Gainesville and Bowie, the Register previously reported. The driver license offices in Denton, Decatur, Sherman and Wichita Falls are also scheduling Saturday appointments, a list provided by DPS indicated.
Nearly 700,000 Texas driver license and ID cards expired while driver license offices were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Driver license offices continue to offer all services by appointment only. Appointments are scheduled on the DPS online appointment scheduler at https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/appointments.htm.
Appointments can be booked for a particular day and time, and up to six months in advance.
Upon arrival at the DL office, customers can check in using the kiosk inside the office or from their smartphone. Customers can only check in up to 30 minutes before their appointment time.
Limited same-day appointments will also be available first come, first served at each driver license office, according to a DPS press release. Customers who book those appointments can then leave the driver license office and come back for their designated appointment time.
Additionally, in most offices, customers without an appointment may get on a standby list. Standby customers must wait in the office in case of a cancellation or a no-show.
The number of standby appointments is limited to ensure all customers who are placed on the list will be served by the end of the day, the release stated.
DPS reminded Texans that those whose driver licenses expired on or after March 13 have been granted an extension because of the pandemic.
The extension means that if your Texas ID, driver license, commercial driver license or election identification certificate card expires on or after March 13, 2020, it falls under the period covered by the State of Disaster Declaration related to COVID-19 and remains valid.
It’ll still remain valid until 60 days after DPS issues a public notice that the extension period has been lifted. That notice had not been issued as of Monday.
Drivers with licenses that expired during the extension period may download a copy of the Verification of Driver License Expiration Extension notice to carry with them. The notice is available from the DPS website at https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/documents/extndExpDateDL.pdf