New system hopes to reduce waiting time for driver licenses

By NIKKI ROWELL,

When Jackson resident Kim Evans realized he had accidentally let his driver’s license expire, he went to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Jackson to renew it.

Upon arriving, he discovered he had let too much time pass and would now have to take a written test to renew his license, and the only facility with testing capability is the Troop C office in Pearl.

So, Evans made the trip to Pearl after 30 phone calls placed to the office and not once speaking to an employee.

“That’s where my odyssey began,” Evans said.

At the Pearl driver’s license office, there were people lining the building outside waiting all day in the Mississippi summer heat.

Inside, he got a time-stamped card reading 10:28 a.m.

“The place was packed,” he said. “It was insufferable.”

At 5:30 p.m. he walked out of the office with his new license. Unfortunately, many names were not called, and those people would have to return the next day with no priority given for standing in line the previous day. They would have to start the process over again.

Most people who have to make the trip to the DMV have similar experiences. Fortunately, the Driver Service Bureau (DSB) is rolling out a new online appointment system in an effort to end this bureaucratic horror story.

The online appointment system, “Wait Anywhere,” is part of a pilot program in six driver service offices across the state, including Jackson, Pearl, Hattiesburg, Gautier, Nesbit and Tupelo, to help cut down on wait time.

To make an appointment, visit the Driver Service Bureau website at driverservicebureau.dps.ms.gov and click “Wait Anywhere appointment” in the menu on the left side of the screen.

Once you click your desired location, enter a cell phone number and select “Driver license ID Renewals” to make an appointment.

Users will then be “put in line” and a projected time to be present at the facility then comes up on the screen. 

“The Driver Service Bureau is constantly looking for opportunities to improve customer service and convenience for citizens across the state. I anticipate this new online appointment feature to be a resource used to reduce wait times,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher.

DSB’s goal is to establish the new appointment system to benefit citizens statewide upon successful implementation of the pilot program. 

Wait Anywhere is accessible at all times to schedule appointments at the six pilot locations.

“We are continuously working in the direction of innovation and advancements in technology to improve the services we provide to the public,” DSB Director Lt. Colonel Ken Brown said. “The Wait Anywhere appointment system allows citizens to better plan their day and avoid waiting in lines. We hope this new service will be utilized, and as a result, it will effectively help relieve these driver service offices of the long lines and improve the overall customer experience.” 

For more information on the Wait Anywhere appointment system, visit the DSB website.

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