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Kansas DMV Services Aim To Drive Down Office Wait Time

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Kansas Division of Vehicles trying new ways to lessen long wait times at DMV offices.

The Kansas Division of Vehicles added two new options to reduce wait times and long lines at driver’s license offices across the state.

The agency launched a scheduling platform so people can make appointments instead of showing up at a DMV office and waiting in line.

Division of Vehicles director David Harper says the service is available in Wichita, Andover, Derby, Topeka, Kansas City (Kansas), Lawrence, Manhattan, Mission, Olathe and Overland Park.

"That’s helped a lot with our wait times and helping people plan their time," he says. "They can schedule a specific date and time to come in, and the wait times are typically have been under 15 minutes for those people coming in."

Appointments can be made 30 days in advance of a visit. Walk-in visitors will still be allowed on a first-come-first-served basis.

"We hope by having the ability to schedule your visit will alleviate some of the lines and frustrations experienced in the past at our larger offices," Harper says.

The agency also started using six mobile offices to bring driver’s license services into communities. Harper says it’s another avenue of convenience for large groups needing to obtain a driver's license or identification card.

The mobile office program was tested this past spring in Sedgwick and Johnson counties. Sedgwick County Correctional inmates who were transitioning out of the correctional facility used the service to get state identification cards. Students completing driver's education in the Blue Valley School District in Johnson County were able to get their learner's permit.

Harper plans to set up the mobile offices at locations like businesses, assisted living facilities, extension offices and colleges.

"This is another way we are cutting back on wait lines and the anticipated rush of people coming into the DMV offices as we get closer to the Real ID implementation deadline," he says.

Beginning Oct. 1, anyone 18 years and older will needa Real ID credential on a driver’s license for air travel within the United States. A Real ID will also be required to enter federal buildings or military bases where identification is currently required for entrance.

Harper says special events are planned to make switching to a Real ID more convenient.

"We will be taking those mobile units out to various locations across the state, and hosting 'Real ID Days' where drivers can come in and upgrade to the Real ID at locations outside of our offices," Harper says.

Federal lawmakers passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to enact the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation for a "set standard for the issuance of sources of identification." It established a minimum security standard for state-issued driver’s licenses.

Valid passports or military IDs will remain as other acceptable forms of identification.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.