Temporary Office Could Reduce License Renewal Lines

Maxine McGuire stood near the back of a line that circled the Highway Patrol's drivers license renewal office.

"There is no reason why there should be a line that long," she muttered.

Yet every weekday outside the Highway 49 office in Saucier, people stand and wait in line. It took Barrett Beech four hours to get close to the renewal desk.

"It's crazy having to take so long to get your license renewed," he said.

Some people used the time outside to study for their drivers license exams. Others complained about wasting a day, because the clock kept ticking, and the line never seemed to move.

"Every time I come here," McGuire said, "the line has been so long, you have to leave."

Those who waited finally got a number and walked inside the bureau. The wait was so long because Hurricane Katrina wiped out three of the Highway Patrol's five south Mississippi drivers license bureaus.

"If they had more help, maybe it wouldn't take so long to get in," thought McGuire.

More help is on the way.

On January 17th, highway patrol computers will be set up in a trailer parked next to the D'Iberville High School football field. The trailer will become a temporary drivers license bureau.

Odis Easterling is a Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman.

"It's very important to us because right now we have waits anywhere from three to four hours," he said. "We're hoping to give the public a shorter wait time."

Ask anybody who's had a license renewed since the hurricane, and they'll tell you it's about it.

"I feel sorry for all these people that have to come and sit out there and wait all day," Beech said while waiting for his number to finally be called. "It's a mess."

Right now, Saucier and Pascagoula have the only places along the coast where you can renew your drivers license.

The temporary office in D'Iberville opens January 17th. A temporary office in Gulfport should open next month.

Don't forget, you can avoid the lines, and renew on line , as long as your address is still the same.