The state has decided on a second driver’s license bureau for Sedgwick County. As many had hoped, it will be in Derby.
“We’re really excited about this,” said spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda. “It’s going to enhance the customer service options for the Sedgwick County area.”
The bureau will be in 4,500 square feet at the Bristol Square shopping center at Madison and Rock Road.
“We’re situating it in Derby because that’s where a lot of the population growth has been,” Koranda said. “What we’re looking at is how to handle the additional traffic and growing population area and maintain good customer service.”
The last time the county had a second bureau, it was in the Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver. Koranda said she’s not sure why that one closed.
“It is the first time that Sedgwick County will have had more than one driver’s licensing bureau … in a decade.”
She said the new bureau will open this fall and will have some of the features it has implemented in other bureaus to ease long lines and improve customer service.
There have been complaints – particularly in Sedgwick County most recently – about the often time-consuming process for people seeking new driver’s licenses, renewals and driver testing. The increased demand for people who want concealed-carry licenses has been a particular issue.
“It brought everything to a head,” Koranda said.
The number of concealed-carry license requests so far this year has exceeded all of the requests in 2012.
There have been 23,138 requests so far this year compared with 16,541 for all of 2012.
“It’s a huge increase,” Koranda said.
Combined with the 35,000 teenagers visiting license bureaus every summer, she said that’s been a lot of people for the bureaus to serve.
Koranda said a test program for Monday hours has been so successful, the state will add a permanent fifth day of service in its bureaus in Andover and at the Twin Lakes shopping center as of Sept. 9.
“It’s helping shorten the lines,” she said.
The Derby bureau will be open on Monday as well.
Monday hours at each of the bureaus will be 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., though driver tests will stop at 4 p.m.
The Derby office also will offer the same texting service as what’s available at Twin Lakes and in Andover where people can text to secure places in line in order to cut their wait times. Customers also can visit www.ksrevenue.org/qless.html to hold spots.
The new Derby bureau will have 10 employees. The Andover bureau, which tripled in size and upgraded its technology earlier this year, is adding five employees.
The state’s latest test program for the bureaus is in Johnson County, where Koranda said there’s a trial period for evening hours in the state’s ongoing effort to improve customer service.
“It’s an overall look at how we can best serve our customers.”