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Driver license stations reopen in Miss. with long lines and longer wait times

Updated: Jun. 8, 2020 at 8:05 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Driver license stations are reopening for the first time in months. But the new system is adding to the frustrations. The temporary alphabetical system kicked off Monday across the state.

Those waiting were glad their last names landed them a first day spot.

“My last name is C so I’m thankful for that reason," said Norman Collins who was trying to get his license reinstated.

“That’s the good part about it,” noted Donna Brown who took her grandson to get his license.

But that’s about as far as the approval went. Frustration was the name of the game.

“I’ve been calling for the last couple of months every other day pretty much every city in Mississippi trying to get my license," added Collins. “I just wanna get my license so I can drive legally and stop riding dirty. But I still have to sit out here, stand out here rather, I wish I had a seat but we’re gonna make it work today.”

The weather compounding those emotions for most. Even as rain picked up—folks stayed in place.

“I didn’t expect it to be this long," added Brown. “Because we were here since 8:00.”

Inside, the department attempted to maintain social distancing with markers to keep people six feet apart once inside.

Those taking tests are also being spread out with only half of the computers being used in the testing room. Teens needing a permit or those wanting to graduate from a permit to license made up much of the line.

“We had to wait till we knew it was going to open again but I just had my birthday about a month ago so it wasn’t that much long of a wait," described Gannon Burney.

The Department of Public Safety tweeted photos of the newly appointed Commissioners talking with those waiting in lines and observing the process inside.

Governor Tate Reeves is again asking the public for their patience with the new system plus the existing backlog.

“This is a short term approach to try to get those who are weeks and weeks and weeks behind the opportunity to catch up,” explained Reeves.

You no longer have the option of going into a station for a license renewal, duplicate or address change.

That has to be done online.

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