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Governor Announces Driver Licensing Improvement Plan



            Office of the Governor

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501

(605) 773-3212



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

CONTACT: Tony Venhuizen at 605-773-3212


                                            Governor Announces Driver Licensing Improvement Plan


PIERRE, S.D. Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today a six-part Driver Licensing Improvement Plan to address long wait times in the Sioux Falls area and to make the Driver Licensing system more efficient and convenient to customers statewide.


A combination of staff shortages and the traditionally busy summer season created longer wait times than normal at driver exam stations in Sioux Falls. Governor Daugaard said state government has an obligation to serve customers well, and aggressive action is needed to bring wait times for applicants to acceptable levels.


“Two hours is too long to wait,’’ the Governor said. “Our Driver Licensing staff is working hard, but we need to step up and get them the tools they need to take care of the problem. This plan does that.’’


The six parts of the Driver Licensing Improvement Plan are:


  1. Extended hours of operation – Extending special hours of operation at the two Sioux Falls exam stations to each stay open until 7 p.m.
  2. Employee overtime – Authorizing overtime as needed to respond to the increased traffic at stations during times of staff shortages.
  3. Hiring and training – Instituting aggressive hiring and training programs to fill vacancies.
  4. Advance scheduling – Announcing the development of a system allowing citizens to schedule their driver license and non-driver ID card renewals and duplicate licenses.
  5. Self-service kiosks – Signing a contract for the installation of self-service kiosks at several exam stations.
  6. Temporary licenses – Urging citizens in immediate need of renewal services but unable or unwilling to wait in line to call the Driver Licensing Program in Pierre to obtain a temporary license, good for six months, under the current process. The number to call is 1-800-952-3696.


Two parts of the initiative – advance scheduling and self-service kiosks, will take time to implement, but the other efforts should reduce wait times soon, according to Cindy Gerber, Director of the Driver Licensing Program.


The advance scheduling project should be operational within a few weeks and will allow citizens to go online to schedule appointments for renewals and duplicate licenses. A similar program already in operation allows for scheduled driving tests in several of the state’s larger cities. The expansion to scheduled renewals will begin in Sioux Falls and Rapid City on a trial basis and will be expanded as warranted.


This week, a $1.2 million contract was signed to install, program and maintain the self-service kiosks in several exam stations across the state, including Sioux Falls. A federal grant funds the contract, which will be fulfilled in the coming months. The kiosks will allow citizens to complete part of the application or renewal process themselves. Customers still will need to see an examiner for a vision test, to have documents checked and to pay necessary fees, but they will be able to fill out the application and take the driver license photograph before visiting the examiner. That will shorten the time each customer is with an examiner.


Sioux Falls currently has two exam stations. The station at 3716 S. Westport Avenue is a full-service site and will be open until 7 p.m. on weekdays, effective today. The station at 415 N. Dakota Avenue, which offers renewal services, will also be open until 7 p.m., as soon as the change is approved by the county.