Those long waits at the driver’s license office the state was working to fix this summer? They’re sill here

Leah Wankum - September 12, 2018 9:00 am
The Mission driver’s license office is still experiencing long wait times.

The wait isn’t over yet.

After customers at several Johnson County driver’s license offices dealt with significant wait times this summer, the Kansas Department of Revenue took a number of steps to try to address the problem. But customers heading to the Mission office may still be in for a long day. Some customers reported three-plus hour wait times Tuesday.

Celeste Aronoff, an Overland Park resident who wanted to renew her license and sign up for Real ID, said checking in online and arriving at the Mission office by 11 a.m. still resulted in a three-hour wait.

The Mission office was fairly full Tuesday because of the wait. Some customers complained that they had been waiting since about 9:40 a.m. and it was nearing noon.

“I said, ‘I cannot believe this; what is the problem?’” Aronoff had asked the Mission driver’s license office staff Tuesday morning. “I thought this was resolved. They said, ‘We’re really short-staffed.’ I find it unacceptable.”

The Mission office was also short-staffed Tuesday when a staff member had called in sick.

The offices in Mission and Olathe had extended hours during the summer to include Monday, but that ended in mid-August. The state revenue department opened a temporary office next to the space where it will open a permanent driver’s license office in Rosana Square Shopping Center in Overland Park.

Rachel Whitten, director of public relations for the Kansas Department of Revenue, said Tuesdays are typically the busiest days for driver’s license offices. She recommends going to the office another day, if possible, or visiting the revenue department’s temporary office.

“It was unusually busy today,” Whitten said. “I do feel for the person who unfortunately had a long time to wait today; we’re upset obviously.”

Whitten said the revenue department is “striving” to improve services, especially by opening the temporary office. In the meantime, even being short-staffed by one person can “make a difference.”

“We appreciate the public working with us on this,” Whitten said.

Aronoff said that, clearly, the driver’s license offices need more staffing to reduce the wait times.

“I just don’t understand; they knew what all the issues were, they figured out how to address them, and then they just drop their whole system? Seriously?” Aronoff said.

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