Oklahomans brave the cold and long lines as delays at the DMV continue due to COVID-19

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Freezing on the outside, but on the inside boiling with frustration – long lines of folks have been braving the cold early morning weather to stand in line, hoping to get help at the DMV.

COVID-19 precautions are among the reason for a delay in services over the last few months.

“It was just crazy and everybody’s frozen and everybody’s miserable and upset,” said Mickey Borden, who got in line at the DMV in Norman at 5 a.m. Friday.

It was early and cold, but her granddaughter needed to take the test to get her permit and she wanted to help.

She’s tried looking online for a different place to go, but said this was their best option.

“All of the cities I’ve gone through so far say December 21,” Borden said. 

Chris Hammett was 20th in line. The former Texan has been trying for months to get an Oklahoma license and his motorcycle endorsement.

“This is what you’ve got to go through,” he said. 

Officials are echoing their concerns.

“When people are frustrated they can’t get in, we’re frustrated too,” said Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Sarah Stewart. Stewart says some offices have had to reduce service due to exposures to the virus.

Lawton and Chickasha’s offices are closed.

The agency is limited on the number of people they can let in due to COVID-19 so they can socially distance and take precautions.

“We’ve had to take a driver’s license examiner away from their examiner away from their original duties to do that, to stand at the door to take their temperature,” said Stewart. 

Some in line Friday were complaining about the computer system.

“Prehistoric, absolutely, so fix it,” said Borden. “You have citizens all around the state standing out at five o’clock in the morning. It’s insane.”

Stewart said that is not exactly the case.

The new system for Real ID has caused some delays as employees are trained and get used to it.

“We know people are frustrated,” said Stewart. “We hear their complaints. We’re right there with them, but our hands are tied. We’re doing everything we can.”

On the DPS website, you can also find out if places are accepting walk-ins and what wait times are.

Their main location at Northeast 36th and Martin Luther King Boulevard currently has extended hours, so if you want to go in later, after 5:30 p.m., we are told they are less busy then.

Some good news, Borden’s granddaughter took her permit test and passed six hours after they got in line.

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