OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A little help could be on the way for Oklahomans who are having serious trouble getting new IDs as lawmakers take action to try clearing up some of the headaches at tag agencies and the Department of Public Safety.
Lawmakers going straight to the Governor asking for immediate action to help with some of the problems that have Oklahomans in a difficult place when it comes to their driver’s licenses.
We have been hearing from viewers for months about problems getting driver’s licenses and the new Real ID, and so have lawmakers.
“You are going to an office at 4 a.m. in the morning not knowing if you are going to get in or not a lot of times getting turned away. I can’t imagine how frustrating that has been,” said Rep. Lonnie Sims of Jenks.
Long lines at the DPS offices and tag agencies, computer systems crashing, and having to schedule appointments months in advance are some of the problems being noticed.
On Tuesday, 44 representative from both sides of the aisle putting their names on a letter to the Governor asking for an executive order to fix the problems.
“They are being told that there are no appointments available for you. If we are going to run this like a business than we oughta be treating these people like customers,” said Rep. Andy Fugate of Del City.
Just after 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Governor Kevin Stitt signed an executive order that would allow tag agents to renew and replace commercial driver’s licenses and career tech centers to administer written driving tests.
“The COVID pandemic has negatively affected so many of our normal processes, including renewing driver licenses and identification,” said Gov. Stitt in a statement. “No Oklahoman should have to wait months to obtain an ID or take a day off work to renew their license. I’m proud to sign this executive order today to help Oklahomans and eliminate the long wait times.”
“The Department of Public Safety understands and shares the public’s frustration with driver license service and is working around the clock on critical improvements,” said DPS Commissioner John Scully. “In those efforts, DPS recently identified steps that can be taken by the governor and the Legislature that will improve delivery of driver license services. DPS is thankful for the eager willingness of Governor Stitt and a bipartisan group of lawmakers to act on the Department’s recommendations. Now that Governor Stitt has issued the executive order, DPS will implement the planned changes quickly.”
Lawmakers say the changes wont fix everything, but…
“It was a priority coming into session to try to get some changes made immediately. That’s happening with the Executive Order,” said Sims.
“I’m disappointed that the Governor has not been in front of this issue. Once again it seems like the Governor is trailing and waiting for those of us in the legislature to do something to make sure he does his job,” said Fugate.
DPS recently sent a memo to tag agencies around the state outlining problems with the new computer system, D360 from IDEMIA, installed in 2020.
“I think last week they actually were down for a full day when it came to the Real ID. There is definitely some software issues there,” said Sims.
The Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) took charge of the efforts to fix the computer system a week ago.
OMES issued News 4 a statement saying, “As of Feb. 4, OMES is now leading the efforts to resolve D360 system interruptions. Our agency is working closely with DPS, state vendors, IDEMIA and Microsoft and local tag agents, to find a solution to prevent system slowdowns. OMES has already implemented several adjustments that are yielding significant D360 performance improvements. While the system has experienced minor delays, we are moving in the right direction. On Tuesday, the D360 system ran at nearly 100% efficiency. We expect to see this system performance continue to improve over the next few days and will continue our 24/7 monitoring of the system until we are confident the issue has been completely resolved.”
OMES tells us they are reviewing documents when it comes to how the D360 system was selected in the first place.