Some Oklahoma DPS offices may shut down by end of summer

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- If you drive a car, you know going to the driver's license office can be a real hassle, and for people in Oklahoma, that ordeal could be getting worse. State officials say they will be forced to close more than half of Oklahoma’s driver's license offices if they do not get more money soon. Robin Beal spent the lunch hour waiting in line with people at Ardmore’s DPS office.

As of now there are 8 DPS offices in our area which are supposed to be staffed at least part-time. The map in the video shows the existing offices from Duncan all the way over to Hugo where people are used to taking care of everything from learner's permits to renewals, but unless the state comes up with $1.8 million by the summer, only three offices will stay open, leaving people in rural areas with their hometown driver's license offices revoked.

"It’s going to be a nightmare for everyone involved," driver Shelly Holly says.

It is one of the great equalizers in life, something we all have to do: grit our teeth and go to the driver's license office.

"We’re on our lunch hour, and we've got a limited amount of time to get this done," Velma resident Gary Prestrob says.

The Ardmore office serves 80 to 90 people a day already. If other offices close for good, Ardmore will be the only choice.

And the headache gets worse.

"It’s very small. We don't have enough room, we don't have public restrooms, we don't even have a waiting room, so we have to ask people to sign in and then go outside and wait," one employee says.

Officials say the need for more funding is dire and if something isn't done soon, 32 drivers’ license offices across the state will close this summer. For some people, that will mean driving hundreds of extra miles just to be able to drive.

DPS says they need cash for more staff, too. A lot of people are concerned that if they don't find the money somewhere, the Ardmore office will become even more of a nightmare to have to deal with.

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