HOUSTON – If you have tried to book an appointment to renew your drivers license or do anything at a Texas DPS office lately, you know you could be waiting months. The backlog from the pandemic and shut down earlier this year has some people waiting for appointments as far away as January.
Even if you have already secured an appointment, here are some tips and tricks that might help you get in much sooner.
- If you have already scheduled an appointment, don't cancel it until you secure a new one.
- When you go to the DPS appointment website and enter your information, skip or change a letter in your name. This is just so the site doesn’t block you, recognizing that you already have a pending appointment.
- You could change your birthdate by one digit for the same reason, but you probably won’t need to do both.
- Instead of typing in your zip code to find an office close to you, choose the name of a smaller city with a DPS office near Houston. Here are the 16 cities/DPS offices in the Greater Houston area:
These are the offices in Harris County:
- Houston North Mega Ceter
- Houston Southeast Mega Center
- Houston Dacoma
- Houston East
- Houston Gessner Mega Center
- Spring Mega Center
When we tried the pointers above, we found appointments available the same day.
No-shows making wait times longer
When you secure a new appointment, make sure you cancel your first one. The Texas Department of Public Safety says that since May 26th, 28% of people who have made appointments have been no-shows, backlogging the system for people who just want to take care of business.
Two other things that DPS told us that it doesn’t advertise.
- Every office has a limited number of same-day appointments available. If you show up when the office opens, and get one of those, you can leave and come back at your appointment time.
- Each office has a stand-by list. If you want to wait to grab the spot of someone who doesn’t show up for their appointment, you can do that. You will be seen that same day, but there’s no telling how long you’ll have to wait. Only a certain number of stand-by spots are allowed each day to minimize crowding and to make sure everyone is seen.