Texas lawmakers want to fix wait times at driver’s license offices. Will they agree on a solution?

The Senate Finance Committee came down hard Monday on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s inefficient driver’s license offices.

“I would personally just say, Steve, fix the damn thing,” Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat, told DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We need you to respond like your job depends on it.”

Driver’s license office reform is shaping up to be a hot topic for the 86th legislative session. In his acceptance speech earlier this month, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen raised two thumbs up after he announced his goal to alleviate “frustrations people feel when they visit one of our state’s driver’s license offices.”

In its 2020-21 funding request, DPS asked for an additional $420 million to properly staff driver’s license offices and increase the number of locations. The new House spending plan would add$200 millionand962 new full-time employees to shorten wait times at state driver’s license offices — and transfer the program from DPS to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.