Problems with DPS continue, agency says it could be turning a corner

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – For months, the Department of Public Safety has experienced backlogs and frustrations from customers.  

Thousands of Oklahomans are attempting to renew their driver’s licenses with no success.  

“It’s so frustrating. I just want to pull my hair out,” said Rhonda Ford, whose license expired back in July.  

Ford has been coming to DPS and waiting in line bright and early for 10 days straight. She says she’s gotten nowhere and is at her wit’s end.  

“They don’t care about the people who come up here and need their licenses renewed. I’m so frustrated I could, I’m having an anxiety attack to be truthful,” said Ford.  

She’s waiting on disability payments and without a renewed license, she’s unable to receive her payments.  

“The ability to have money to drive around in my car, to have food on the table because I didn’t for a year,” said Ford.  

The agency has blamed COVID-19, a lack of support staff and technology issues from implementing the new Real ID System.  

Sarah Stewart, the public information officer for DPS, says the agency could be turning a corner soon.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that a lot of the system slow-downs are moving in the right direction,” said Stewart.  

She says after some technology glitches were fixed within the system, it has been operating much more successfully.  

“From February 8th to February 20th, the system averaged a 95% efficiency. The last two days we were at 100%,” said Stewart.  

Some DPS locations are also extending their hours to serve more customers.  

“These offices typically close at 4:45. We’re staying open now, at some of them until 9 p.m. so we can serve people. It was very successful. We were able to serve hundreds more people that we would not have been able to otherwise,” said Stewart.  

The extended hours vary between locations and depend on availability of employees.

Stewart says customers should continue to check online for appointments.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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