The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Kokua Line column
Feb 19, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Question: What is the status now of renewing driver's licenses I read about how crowded it was, with people having to wait two or three hours. What is the average time now for processing licenses/state IDs Does it depend on what time someone goes or the location
Answer: The average wait time is about 45 minutes to an hour -- down from the two to three hours it took to get either a driver's license or state ID card at the beginning of January, according to Jesse Broder Van Dyke, spokesman for Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
"The lines are still long but they are much improved," he said.
As can be expected, the worst time to apply in person for a license or ID card is around the lunch hour, when there's the double whammy of more applicants and staff taking lunch breaks in shifts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Mondays, Fridays and the days after holidays also tend to have longer lines, Broder Van Dyke said.
But, beginning as early as Monday, the mayor "will be rolling out" a new Web page to allow people to view live cameras to check to see how long the lines are before deciding when and where to go, he said.
Webcams have been installed at all five of the driver's licensing stations (where state IDs are also processed).
"Our target date to roll this Web page out to the public is Feb. 25, if we clear all of the technological hurdles," Broder Van Dyke said. "We share the public's frustration with the long lines, and we want to help people avoid waiting in them."
He also reminds the public that they do not need a state ID if they have a driver's license. Either of those, or a valid U.S. passport, will be accepted for travel, among other things.
"State IDs are intended for people who are not able to get or don't want a driver's license," Broder Van Dyke said.
Question: Is there a way to make an appointment for driver's license renewal for someone who cannot physically stand in line for several hours Normally a cane suffices, but not for standing that long. I'm sure there are many folks who could use such a service. Any kokua about this would be appreciated.
Answer: No appointments are taken, but anyone who is physically unable to stand in line is advised to inform the driver's licensing staff.
"They will direct the individual to a location where they can be seated until their turn in line comes up; then they will then service that applicant," Broder Van Dyke said.
He said the Customer Services Department is testing ways to make the waiting more efficient -- and bearable -- including a "triage welcome desk" to check documents and answer questions before people get in line; a number pull system; seating areas; and mounted TVs to keep those waiting entertained.
Renewal By Mail
One option to standing in line to renew licenses (not state IDs) is by mail. See www1.honolulu.gov/csd/vehicle/dlprocedures.htm for details.
However, renewing by mail is not necessarily easier because it has additional requirements, including a medical report and a certificate of an eye exam completed and signed by a licensed physician within six months; and a notarized statement of possession of a driver's license.
WEDNESDAY: More answers to licensing/ID questions.
To Dan and his staff at Dan's 76 Station in Maili. In late January my husband and I bought gas at the station. Two weeks later my husband stopped there to buy sodas, and the ladies presented him with the change we forgot to pick up from that last visit! They had it taped to their wall with our names on it. Only a few dollars, but the honesty is priceless. Dan and his staff are wonderful people who make us proud to live Westside. -- Peggy Sucher
Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email email@example.com.
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