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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wichita driver’s license office to expand hours starting Monday

By Roy Wenzl
The Wichita Eagle

Some good news for those of us who dislike waiting: The Kansas Department of Revenue said Tuesday it is expanding hours at its Twin Lakes office, where people sometimes wait two hours to get their driver’s license renewed.

The office, at 1823 W. 21st St. in the Twin Lakes shopping center, is usually open from 7 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The state is now adding 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday, starting this Monday and continuing until Aug. 27.

“The hope is that this will relieve some of the pressure on the offices on the other days,” said Jeannine Koranda, a department spokeswoman.

The driver’s license office in Olathe will have similar hours; that office and the one in Twin Lakes are the busiest offices in the state, Koranda said. The extended hours will not require additional staff, state officials said.

Visitors to those offices have suffered because of delays caused by computer issues the past few months.

The state also announced a system that will allow customers to secure a place in line without coming into the office. To join the line, people can use their cellphone to text “Wichita DL” to 714-333-1234. They can also sign in online at http://ksrevenue.org/qless.html.

People using those methods will receive text messages updating them about how much time they still have “in line.”

Koranda also offered other suggestions about how to cut down on frustrations.

Above all, she said, have the proper documentation needed.

In general, she said, Tuesdays and Fridays are the busiest days at Twin Lakes, so consider avoiding those days.

Go early. The office opens at 7 a.m., and the first couple of hours are less busy than later in the day.

The least busy times at Twin Lakes, and therefore the best times to go, would be 7 to 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

People in the Wichita area can also consider going to the Andover office, at 111 Central Avenue in Andover. But that office is the third- or fourth-busiest office in the state, Koranda said.

The department handles between 650,000 and 700,000 transactions annually, including concealed carry permits, driver’s licenses and ID cards, Koranda said. Business increases about 10 to 20 percent in the summer, much of it made up of young people being out of school, with time free to come get their licenses or driving permits, she said.

Reach Roy Wenzl at 316-268-6219 or rwenzl@wichitaeagle.com.

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