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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  • by AliceIn Location: Wonderland on May 28, 2008 at 08:32 PM
    To Supports DPS: I support not only DPS but all law enforcement agencies. These men and women put their lives on the line to protect joe-blow citizen and each and every one of them deserves our respect. And I'm not sure where you're from, but the Sherman and Denison PD, as well as the Grayson Sheriff's Dept., are all professionals who take pride in their jobs. They are as trained as their department's training budge allows (which isn't always enough), but that doesn't mean they don't deserve our respect just as well. That's what is ruining our country. People don't respect the very jobs that should be respected the most - law enforcement and teachers. ALL law enforcement deserve our respect, from the smallest dept. running on an almost zero-dollar budget, to the largest dept. that has ample money to train their officers. They all face criminals every day to keep us safe - so yes - ALL law enforcement officers deserve our respect, DPS, OHP, and every local and county agency, too.
  • by Supports DPS on May 28, 2008 at 11:18 AM
    Over the past several years DPS employees have recieved numerous raises. I believe its a stepped process that tops out in 7 years, at about 65,000 if they arn't promoted. Then there is the incentive/special duty pay, and of course those promoted to officers make much more than standard troopers. DPS troopers are highly educated,well trained, professionals and should be paid accordingly. You get what you pay for folks, just look at your local PD, or sheriffs office!
  • by Thumblelina Location: Anywhere on May 28, 2008 at 10:13 AM
    Rather than deal with the twins here in Ardmore, I have driven either to Wilson or Marietta to renew anything, tag or license for the last 20 years. The people working in Wilson and Marietta are very kind and fast. You don't have to wait an hour to get your tag renewed and put up with a hateful staff. Instead,do away with Ardmore and keep Wilson and Marietta tag agents if you have to. Please, we are begging, not Ardmore Only!!!!
  • by Well hi Location: citizen on May 24, 2008 at 05:18 PM
    I'm NOT paying more. Shut down the stupid offices.
  • by Republican in Ardmore Location: Ardmore on May 24, 2008 at 01:24 PM
    I wouldn't close the Ardmore branch, but I wish the state would transfer or fire those RUDE, NASTY, workers in the tag agency. I would rather drive to Wilson to renew my tag!
  • by Fozzy Location: Ardmore on May 24, 2008 at 09:59 AM
    What troops are you referring too???
  • by Kyle Location: madill on May 23, 2008 at 02:27 PM
    Just stop paying troops outrageous amounts compared to the little work they actually do. The DPS can save money by cutting back on useless employees.
  • by Fozzy on May 23, 2008 at 12:57 PM
    If they close the Ardmore office,, they would be losing lots of money! I'm surprised that those twins in there haven't start charging admission just to get into the parking lot. I have dealt with the license branch in Ardmore and can honestly say that they are by far easier to deal with and 100% more professional than the people on the tag agency side.
  • by Ripped off again Location: ardmore on May 23, 2008 at 11:12 AM
    These guys just like to lie to us. I guess they think we are too dumb to know anything. They collect millions of dollars for driver's liceses each year but don't have the money to keep the office open so they can collect it. They are about as rude to people as they can be. We try to tell our childern to respect the officers but then these bozos act like clowns when students go to apply. You should send someone from the station without cameras and mikes to see how things really are there. Then they always need more money - big deal, don't we all need more money? When the inspection fees stopped they had to add that to our car tags so they could buy bigger and faster vechiles. If it sounds like this hit a nerve with me it did. I have been talked down to by a "has been" patrolman who was demoted down to an examiner at the Ardmore office and he had a chip on his sholder big as Texas. They need some customer skills training. Thanks
  • by concerned Location: ardmore on May 23, 2008 at 08:58 AM
    Here are state is struggling to find funding, and yet our government can afford to send tons of food (costing money) to people who don't even live in our country.
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