Long waits at Driver’s License office affecting drivers and businesses

Driver's License wait times

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - It could take you hours to get a driver’s license in metro Jackson. Those frustrations aren’t just for the motoring public.

Understaffing at the Department of Public Safety Driver License office also affects the bottom line of some in the driving business.

KLLM Driving Academy students spend three weeks in the classroom and using the simulator, then six weeks on the road.

After that time they hope to obtain a Commercial Drivers License or CDL, but like most people going to the drivers license office they run into gridlock.

Jim Richards is President and CEO of KLLM Trucking Company which trains drivers at their $3 million academy.

"We never dreamed that we would be limited on the number of people that we could bring into our program because of the inability to get drivers licenses. That's been a serious problem for about three years," said Richards.

Each week about 40 students go to the drivers license offices in Jackson and Pearl and run into long waits and frustration.

KLLM has purchased four vans and hired drivers to transport the students to other Drivers License locations like Forest, Hattiesburg and other cities to get their CDLs.

Thursday there were still long waits at the Pearl location.

In January, we were told there are five examiners working at the office in Jackson and five at the Pearl location.

There are 49 vacancies.

Candidates for lieutenant governor were asked for a solution to the drivers license staffing shortage.

We will follow up with the candidates and have their plans in the future.

Department of Public Safety officials were asked if there is pending legislation that would address funding for the drivers license locations and about the agency’s budget for the past three years.

We are awaiting a response.

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