New program cuts long lines, wait times

EDMOND, Okla. – Nothing can test your patience more than waiting hours in line at one of Oklahoma’s driver’s license offices.

But new changes coming to the Department of Public Safety could soon put an end to those long lines.

“It’s agonizing trying to sit here and wait the whole time,” Patrick Labastida said. “And watching the numbers go by slowly was not very fun.”

Labastida just wants to get a new driver’s license but the long lines at the Department of Public Safety office are making it difficult for him.

“I was here at 6 a.m. this morning,” Labastida said. “I’ve been here all day pretty much and I have work so I had to leave.”

A new program called Inline/Online is working to eliminate the wait and the frustration for people like Labastida.

“We’re going to try to use technology to help us move the lines faster,” Jeff Hankins, Director of Driver License Services, said.

Inline/Online is an online scheduling system that gives people the opportunity to reserve appointments online and avoid the inconvenience of waiting in line on a first-come-first-served basis.

Drivers choose an appointment type and time based on their availability at their desired location and eliminate hours of waiting with the click of a mouse.

“We’re trying to encourage anyone who doesn’t want to wait in our long lines to go online and make an appointment,” Hankins said.

Tuesday is the first day Inline/Online is being used to help the public.

“Luckily [Hankins] came through with the appointments,” Labastida said. “So I made an appointment for tomorrow morning and they’re going to get me taken care of.”

“It’s working really well so far,” Hankins said.

The end goal is to completely eliminate long waits, a change customers said they are glad to see coming.

“It makes it a lot easier on people,” Labastida said. “Show up 15 minutes before you make the appointment and then you get in without having to wait in line. So it helps a lot, especially someone with a busy schedule.”

You can use Inline/Online at seven Oklahoma locations.

The launch dates and locations are:

  • Oklahoma City Southwest — March 26
  • Edmond — March 26
  • Yukon — March 28
  • Norman — March 28
  • Tulsa Eastgate — April 4
  • West Tulsa — April 11
  • Broken Arrow — April 11