The COVID-related waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses (DLs) and identification cards (IDs) has now ended. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) continues to urge customers with an expired DL or ID to make an appointment or renew online today.
To assist customers with expired licenses who were unable to schedule an appointment prior to the waiver ending, DPS implemented a new procedure allowing them to request a temporary driving permit that will remain valid until their appointment date. For additional details on that process, please visit the DPS website.
The expiration waiver, originally granted by Governor Greg Abbott in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020.
Driving with an expired license
The department cannot determine what action a law enforcement officer or the court may take if someone is stopped while driving with an expired license as both have discretion in these matters. That is why the department continues to encourage anyone with an expired DL to make a renewal appointment now and apply for the temporary driving permit in order to stay in compliance.
Renewing online remains a convenient option
Many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office entirely by renewing their DL or ID card or changing their address online at Texas.gov. As of April 1, 2021, there were approximately 858,000 expired driver licenses in the DPS system. Of those, roughly 130,700 are eligible to renew online. Customers can also renew by phone at 1-866-DL-RENEW (1-866-357-3639). The requirements and cost for online and phone renewal are the same as in-person transactions. (When you schedule an appointment, you will be notified if you are eligible to renew online.)
Expanded office hours
To assist customers needing in-office DL services, designated high-volume offices continue offering expanded hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Scheduling an appointment
A reminder that all services at driver license offices are now conducted by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler. If you are unable to find an appointment at the office of your choice, check back for availability at that office or other locations nearby. Please check often as availability does change.
If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please reschedule or cancel ahead of time. While the department is working to serve as many customers as possible, people not showing up for their appointments continues to be a major obstacle. In March 2021, for example, approximately 28% of people (or more than 198,000 customers) were no-shows for their appointments.
The appointment system, which debuted in May 2020, is designed to provide additional convenience, reducing the time Texans wait in line. Customers can book appointments for a specific day and time, up to six months in advance, and show up 30 minutes or less before their scheduled time. Customers can check-in using the kiosk inside the office or from their mobile device.
All offices offer a limited number of same-day appointments. These appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers who book these appointments can leave the DL office until their designated time.
Additionally, most offices may be able to offer some customers without an appointment a spot on a “standby” list. These customers are required to wait in the office and are assisted in the event of a cancelation or no-show. The number of standby appointments available is limited to ensure all customers who are placed on the list will be served by the end of the day.
To ensure a safe environment, COVID-19 protocols have been implemented at DL offices.