Sam Williams had optimistic words to offer during the grand opening celebration Thursday at a new Kansas driver’s license office in Overland Park.
“It’s not your grandfather’s DMV,” said the secretary of the Department of Revenue for the State of Kansas.
“It’s going to be different and it is different,” said Williams of the office, located at 7600 W. 119th St. Suite A, in the Rosana Square Shopping Center.
The new facility, adjacent to the Johnson County Taxpayer Assistance Center, was opened in response to complaints about long lines and lengthy wait times at the two driver’s license offices in Johnson County. It is the third driver’s license office in the county.
New technology will help speed the licensing process for customers and workers alike. KanLicense, a new application, will be used by driver’s license examiners to securely input records and data. It replaces a mainframe computer system technology that is about 35 years old. A new app for Android and iPhone devices called iKan will allow customers to renew a license or tags from a mobile device.
“After Real ID is in place, 50 percent of people will qualify to use the app to renew a license,” Williams said. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 50 who have completed an eye exam in the last year will be eligible to renew their license through the app.
Donna Blackwell, of Leawood, was getting a real ID before 2020, and had nothing but praise for the new office.
“I heard about it on the news this morning and thought, I’m coming down because I betcha it’s not crowded, and it wasn’t.”
Blackwell was so happy with her experience, which took about five minutes, she called her husband and advised him to come down.
Williams also announced new hours statewide for Kansas drivers’ license offices. Beginning Oct. 29, the hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday hours will be based on demand.
Williams also said the mobile technology will allow them to begin working with the drivers’ education students in local schools.
“When they have a graduating class (in driver’s ed) we’re going to go the school and take the pressure off them having to come into the office, so we can issue the credentials right at the school,” Williams said
“We know that lines in Johnson County have been an issue and we’ve responded to that in an exceptionally fast manner,” Williams said. “We’ve created this in 60 days.”
The new Overland Park office will likely be a prototype for other Kansas drivers’ license offices should expansion continue.