How the license office is dealing with social distancing

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Whether you’re looking to renew your driver’s license or get it replaced, chances are your experience at a license office might be much different than you remember.

Melissa Bryan’s daughter has been trying to renew her ID for a month and a half.

“This is the fifth time we’ve been here, and it’s just been too hot to wait in the lines so we’ve had to leave and come back,” Bryan said.

Coming back hasn’t worked out so great.

“The line’s still terribly long,” Bryan said.

Joe Daues director of Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks said his nonprofit has been making accommodations relating to these issues at its Springfield office.

“When you come in we’re asking people, here, let us get your mobile number, and we’ll tell you where you are in line and these please go wait in your car,” Daues said. “Or if you know that there are ten people in line in front of you, if you want to go somewhere and come back, that’s fine too.”

The elderly or people who are disabled are allowed to come in and wait.

“We’re trying to be as sensitive to that as we can,” Daues said.

He says the office is also considering a reservation system.

“Some way to figure out a way to tell people ‘hey, if you have a 10:30 appointment, you come in at 10:20, 10:25, or 10:30, and we’ll take care of your business,'” Daues said.

Before the lines and the weather was an issue, Daues’ team was dealing with an overflow of customers.

“We were behind the eight ball when we reopened the office’s May 4th after the state shutdown,” Daues said. “So, a lot of those people whose deadlines were extended by two months wanted to come in right away. Add to that mix all the people that wanted to come in early. It was a really difficult time.”

The jam has slowed down a bit.

“But, what we’re still seeing is that group of people that’s coming in normally,” Daues said. “We can only have half the amount of people in our offices than we would normally have. Really to be safe, we have fewer than that.”

Daues said his Glenstone license office will give a mask to people who don’t come in wearing one.

He also wants to remind people that the federal government’s real ID deadline has been extended to October 1, 2021.

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