Good for the Kansas Department of Revenue for planning to open a second Sedgwick County driver’s license bureau this fall. The need is obvious, even to those lucky enough to have avoided the ridiculously long waits this summer and last at the sole Wichita office and the Andover bureau.
Opening a 4,500-square-foot office at the Bristol Square shopping center in Derby should make a big difference. So should some other commonsense changes the state is making, including opening the Twin Lakes and Andover stations permanently on Mondays as of Sept. 9 and adding employees at the Andover site. The Derby office will be open five days a week as well. And how about expanding an evening-hours pilot program planned for Johnson County this fall to similarly populous Sedgwick County?
The 2002 decision to close the Parklane driver’s license office at Lincoln and Oliver – one of 12 bureaus axed around the state in a cost-cutting move by then-Gov. Bill Graves – was a bad idea that only looks worse in retrospect. And 30 years ago, when Wichita had 100,000 fewer residents than it has now, the city had three driver’s licenses bureaus.
The state’s attention to this problem is welcome, if overdue. Renewing a driver’s license anytime of year should not necessitate a three- to six-hour wait.