Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SALT LAKE CITY -- Lines at the driver license division in Utah are about to get even shorter. Starting Monday, you can book appointments online instead of standing in line.
Sergeant Jeff Nigbur, spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety, says the wait times are now averaging what they were before new laws took effect in January requiring more residency documentation to get or renew a license. It also requires people to personally visit a driver license office to renew instead of doing it by mail.
That has created very long wait times -- some as long as three hours. Recently, driver license offices have opened on Fridays to help alleviate the wait times.
Monday afternoon at the driver license office in West Valley City, the lines were long and people said they waited a little more than two hours, at least.
"It is frustrating," said Paula McNair. "It makes you want to go a little ballistic when you've been there so long."
Rob McNair agrees. "You are just watching what you think they are doing and what you think they should be doing. I'm sure they've got things they are really doing and it's important and everything, but the wait seems to be extensive."
- Schedule an appointment
- 15 minute maximum wait time
- Can book appointment up to 3 weeks in advance
- Can print out confirmation number, application
But Nigbur says the new online appointments ought to make it better.
"Versus having to wait 45 minutes to an hour in line and not knowing when you're going to get out, you can actually schedule other appointments around this one," Nigbur explains.
For example, if you set up a 2 p.m. appointment, Nigbur says you'll get a 15 minute block of time in which you know you'll be seen.
"Let's say you schedule a meeting for 2 p.m. They will typically see you between 2 and 2:15, and the reason being because sometimes getting a regular driver's license from scratch takes a little more time than maybe a renewal, but that's a lot better that what we've seen in the past," Nigbur explains. "But nonetheless, that's significantly lower than what you would do otherwise."
The website allows you to schedule what type of an appointment you need, from a CDL to a renewal to a new license. You can then select an office close to your home and find a time.
The new system is online and you can start making appointments now, but the soonest appointments available start next Monday. And Nigbur says you're able to book an appointment up to three weeks in advance.
Once you've made your appointment, you'll have a confirmation number you can print out, as well as the application you need for the type of transaction you're doing, so you don't have to fill it out after you get to the driver license division.
"You know, I think the longest wait time [right now] is about 45 minutes to an hour here on the Wasatch Front," Nigbur says. "But will this help people? Yeah, I think it will."
The online scheduler is available at driverlicense.utah.gov.
Story compiled with contributions from Becky Bruce and Sam Penrod.