LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With Lexingtonians starting to travel more and with an end to the extended driver license expirations that went into effect during the pandemic, there has been an increased need to check items, like renewing a Driver's License, off the to-do list.
With the higher demand, the Lexington Driver Licensing Regional Office has seen long wait times.
"It's a little frustrating," Ronnie Franklin said. "It been raining, and you have to wait so long and just a little bit of an inconvenience, but I kind of understand it with the pandemic and everything like that so I'm dealing with it."
Franklin and his son got to the office half an hour before it opened at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday. At 9:30 a.m., they were still waiting to be seen.
Another woman, Kim Reid, said making an appointment is the way to go.
"Super pleasant!" Reid said. "[I] didn't have to wait too long since I had an appointment. Everyone was really nice and everything was really clean in there."
However, she said there is a catch.
"A friend of mine had told me she got her REAL ID and she said go ahead and make your appointment," Reid said. "It takes about six to eight weeks, and I was like yeah right. I looked online and she was not lying."
Sarah Jackson, a special advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation said she is aware of the issues. She says the Lexington office is dealing with staffing problems, sanitization challenges, and capacity limits due to the pandemic.
"It is a daily reassessment on our part to see what we can do better or differently to improve the lines or wait times or help with customer service," Jackson said. "We ask people to be patient."
In the meantime, she offered several tips for drivers.
- Drivers can go to any regional office in Kentucky
- Make a plan and get an appointment
- Wait to get a REAL ID if your license doesn't expire soon because the deadline to get a REAL ID isn't until May 2023
- If a Driver's License expires through June 30th, they are eligible to renew remotely
In addition, she said the Office is launching an online driver's licensing renewal portal within the next few weeks. That way, drivers can skip the lines and renew their licenses from the comfort of their homes.