Online appointments take hours off drivers license process

Making online DL appointments

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Driver Services Bureau of the Mississippi Highway Patrol has been trying to make your drivers license experience a lot better.

It hasn’t been that long since lines stretched out around the building. There were people standing in the heat, standing in the cold... but now you can go online, set up an appointment, and officials tell us you should be out of there 10 minutes after your appointment time.

Our Assignment Editor Emily Caballero made an appointment online today. We arrived 10-15 minutes before her appointment time of 1:09 p.m., and even with a little hitch in the process, she was out by 1:35 p.m., within about 25 minutes of her appointment.

“So from the time I walked in the doors to the time I got this it was 37 minutes and 16 seconds,” Caballero said, holding up her drivers license and her phone timer.

Lt. Col. Ken Brown says people with online appointments are moved to the front of the line, ahead of those without appointments.

“Those people who are sitting there waiting, you walk right by them because they have what’s called an express lane which helps those immediate customers right away,” he said.

You can even make an appointment as you wait, Brown said. He said if he had his wish, everyone would have an appointment and everyone would be through the process and on to the rest of their day in a much shorter time.

Extensive media coverage and public discussion of the previous problems led a lot of people to think it was just their destiny to have to wait forever to get their license, but it doesn’t have to be a day-long issue anymore, Brown said.

Caballero said that’s what’s been holding her up.

“I’ve been putting off coming because I didn’t want to wait for hours, but when I heard it was a faster process, I said I might as well go ahead and do it,” she said.

Brown said he’s noticed since the online appointment system was brought in that the complaints are slowing down.

“We have seen a tremendous decline in those, and that’s what I need to see. I like getting those calls, those letters in the mail that said they had a great experience," Those meant a lot to me because when I hear those good things, they inspire me to do more good things and make their experience even better the next time.”

All you have to do is go to the drivers services website and click on the “wait anywhere” screen, then follow the directions to your appointment. You’ll get a text 30 minutes ahead of it, and if you show up 10 minutes before your appointment, you’re set, officials said.

Now Lt. Col. Brown tells us there’s a lot of new technology that other states are using that he wants to incorporate here at driver services. He says it’s just a matter of what kind of funding they get from the next legislative session.

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