Driver’s License Testing In Oklahoma

When I got my drivers license in 1975, my Mom took me down to the examiner station in Muskogee, I took the written test, and then took a ride with an examiner. They made my license right then and there. Since I was 15-1/2, I had the restriction that I had to have a licensed driver in the front seat with me. At 16, that got taken off – with a typewriter used to X out the restriction from the back of the license.

Now the licenses are “graduated”. Ian has had his Learners Permit since June 2011. He was ready for the next step, an Intermediate Driver’s License (IDL). This involves a driving skills test with an official state examiner.

So yesterday, we went down to the examiner office in Edmond. There was a sign up (at 1300) that they were full up. We came home and started calling other offices, in south OKC, Norman, Yukon, Shawnee. One place said that people had lined up that morning at 0430. All the others were full up. WTH, I thought.

This morning Ian and I got up at 0545 and were out of the house at 0620. My plan was to drop him off, then run over to McDs and get some portable breakfast. The office opened at 0800, so I figured we were in great shape. We got there at 0640 to find at least 40 people in line already. Yes, forty. The queue grew to 70 in short order. They started letting people in at 0700 (as opposed to the posted time of 0800).

We waited until 0940. At that point, we talked to an examiner. He checked a number of documents, took a bunch of data (fingerprint, photo), and told us that the next available drive test slot was the next Thursday at 1430.

So two examiners, we found out, were doing ten (10) drive tests that morning. The rest of the people in line were assigned a date and time in the future. So most of the couple hours we spent there were really spent waiting for an examiner do only schedule a time. Half of the examiners were doing data entry instead of driving examinations.

We got back home around 1010. I put Ian to calling drivers test locations in a spiral moving away from OKC. Several of them do not have phone numbers listed; customer service, not so much.

He scored in McAlester. They accepted an appointment for 1300. We immediately hopped in his car for the two-hour drive to McA. We got there at 1230, waited for a bit, and Ian had his passing grade by 1325, and a valid license by 1430. We had lunch and drove back, getting to OKC around 1745.

Now, NONE of this process is discussed on the DPS website.

This process is probably the least efficient and most opaque that I have seen in working with various government agencies for the past 30 years.

Why doesn’t DPS allow on-line scheduling?

Why are examiners doing scheduling? There were two of them doing the data-entry scheduling process in Edmond. If you let people do on-line scheduling, those two examiners could have been out doing driving tests instead of data entry.

Why are the examiners collecting photos and fingerprints? That data is captured by the tag agents that actually make the licenses.

Which reminds me. The fingerprint and other data is required by the REAL ID act, legislation pushed by cowards in Congress that think that restricting American rights somehow fights terrorists. Yes, Congressional cowards who were supposed to be looking out for Americans, not restricting them.

The bottom line is that examiners need to be examining, and not doing data entry. The DPS needs to set up an online scheduling system. The stand-in-line-at-0400 before opening at 0800 no 0700 just seems deliberately designed to annoy and inconvenience the citizens that are supposed to be served.

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3 Responses to “Driver’s License Testing In Oklahoma”

  1. Raegan Says:

    To have so few examiners and so few sites for testing in Oklahoma City is just ridiculous. Hello? Hire a few more? Why on Earth should we have to be in line at 0430 to get a driver’s license? Talk about inefficient. 😦

  2. Glojet Says:

    Wow. Yours is the first post that I have seen about the terrible wait times for the Dept of Public Safety around Oklahoma City. I am trying to transfer my driver license from a different state. I checked Yukon, Edmond and I-240. Ridiculous wait times. Why can’t there be online scheduling? That way people don’t spend needless times waiting.
    Glad I found your post. Tells me what to expect.

  3. Glojet Says:

    Oh I checked I can’t go to a tag office for my process since a passport is involved. Terrible, terrible.

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