Driver examiner shortage could mean long waits

Wednesday, February 13th 2008, 7:20 pm
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther and Darren Brown, INsite Team

Long lines are a common occurrence at driver licence exam sites. Another all too often occurrence is showing up and there's no driver's license examiner at all.

Senator Kenneth Corn (D-Poteau) wants to amend legislation that would help remedy the current driver's license examiner shortage. Under Corn's proposal, the state would either increase fees and hire more examiners or work within the current budget and consolidate the 59 exam sites to 27.

"We can either raise drivers license fees $3, which is less than a dollar a year, and hire the staff we need to keep the offices open and meet the backlog," Corn said. "Or, we have to consolidate, which means we'll save some money but we still won't be able to hire the staff we need."

State law requires that there be at least one examiner within a 100 mile radius of your residence. To adequately staff and keep the current exam sites open, the Department of Public Safety said it needs an additional 16 examiners and 12 clerks.

"We have a certain number of examiners statewide and when examiners retire or we have resignations we're in a situation where we're not able to replace those individuals," Karen Gentry, State Director of Driver License Examining said.

Several sites in Oklahoma City and Tulsa process up to 300 individuals a day. Some rural sites process as many as 80 a day. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop A Headquarters is the states busiest testing site.

"If we don't do either one that's fine too just as long as people realize they're going to have much longer drives, much longer lines, and be more unconvinced, "Corn said.

To see the current driver license exam sites and where the proposed consolidated sites would be, click on the maps below.




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Current Testing Sites


Proposed Consolidated Testing Sites