AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Department of Public Safety announced Thursday, Dec. 17 that the waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses (DLs) and identification cards (IDs) ends on April 14, 2021.

Customers who need to renew are urged to make an appointment soon.

READ MORE: Texas Attorney General Files Suit Against Power Provider Griddy

The waiver, granted by Governor Greg Abbott in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020.

Expanded office hours

To assist customers needing DL services, designated offices will be offering expanded hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, starting on Jan. 4. Appointments are already being accepted for the additional hours. The participating offices were selected based on the volume of customer transactions.

In addition, this Saturday, Dec. 19, is the last day for Saturday appointments, which are still available at many locations across the state.

Online renewals still a convenient option

Many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office entirely by renewing their DL/ID card or changing their address online.

Customers can also renew by phone at 1-866-357-3639 (1-866-DL-RENEW).

The requirements and cost for online and phone renewal are the same as in-person transactions.

Scheduling an appointment

READ MORE: 500K+ Texans Still Under Boil Water Advisories A Week After Deadly Winter Storms

DPS launched a new appointment solution when DL offices reopened in May, and all services are now conducted by appointment only. (DL offices have implemented several COVID-19 protocols to ensure a safe environment.) To schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler.

If you are unable to find an appointment at the office of your choice, check back for availability at that office or other locations nearby. Please check often as availability does change.

The appointment system is designed to provide additional convenience, reducing the time Texans wait in line.

Customers can book appointments for a specific day and time, up to six months in advance, and show up 30 minutes or less before their scheduled time. Customers can check-in using the kiosk inside the office or from their mobile device.

A reminder, if you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please change it ahead of time.

Customers not showing up has become a major issue statewide. From May 26 through Nov. 30, approximately 27% of people were no-shows for their appointments.

To help combat that issue, many offices are offering customers without an appointment a spot on a “standby” list.

These customers are required to wait in the office and are assisted in the event of a cancelation or no-show. The number of standby appointments available is limited to ensure all customers who are placed on the list will be served by the end of the day.

Additionally, a limited number of same-day appointments will be available at each DL office.

These appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers who book these appointments can leave the DL office until their designated time.

MORE NEWS: Community Efforts To Help North Texas Winter Storm Victims Continue 2 Weeks Later

MORE FROM CBSDFW

CBSDFW.com Staff