Area residents are reporting long wait times when renewing or applying for driver’s licenses at the state’s Douglas County service station in Lawrence, 1035 N. Third St.
Naomi Cataudella was waiting Wednesday with her daughter, who was applying for her first driver’s license. They got there early, about 7:40 a.m. but waited three hours and 10 minutes before being seen, she said.
“We came yesterday, and it was like this,” said Cataudella, motioning to the dozens of people snaked around the lobby.
The two- and three-hour waits are simply a product of the summer rush, said Jeannine Koranda, Kansas Department of Revenue spokeswoman.
“This time of year is typically the busiest,” she said. “We’re just moving thousands through this time of year.”
Part of that rush has to do with students on summer break flocking to the offices, Koranda said.
But what about the $40 million computer upgrade that caused glitches in the system earlier this year?
Koranda said that has nothing to do with the current long lines, as driver’s licenses applications and renewals still operate on the old system.
Across the state, Koranda said, offices have recently reported wait times under an hour.
“It just depends on the office,” she said.
At the local service station, the wait times have built camaraderie among the fellow frustrated drivers, Cataudella said.
“It was like a family,” Cataudella said. “I feel like I should invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner.”
She took the role of greeting the newbies — just starting their journey at the office — with a cheery warning: “Hey, welcome to hell.”