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Department of Public Safety opens express driver's license station in Sioux Falls

Driver License Express Station
Andrew Kronaizl
/
SDPB
The exterior of the Driver License Express Station at the Kings Crossing building in Sioux Falls.

Drivers in and around Sioux Falls have the opportunity to renew their license quickly in person at a new, first-of-its-kind Driver License Express Station, which opened Aug. 12.

The express station, located at the Kings Crossing building in southern Sioux Falls, provides driver’s license services that don’t require testing, such as getting a license renewed or transferring an out-of-state license to a South Dakota one.

Before this, the only driver’s license station in Sioux Falls was in the northern part of the city on Russell Street. That station is still the only one that offers written examinations and driving tests.

According to Craig Price, the cabinet secretary of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, a major goal of the express station is to reduce the wait times of people coming to the location and the workload of employees.

“You come in, you can renew your license, you can renew your ID card, and it’s about, you know, a five-to-10-minute process,” Price said. “The lines move faster because we don't have the backlog of people taking the test. We don't have to send our examiners out of the express station to go give driver exams.”

Lois and Rick Munzke went to the express station to renew their licenses. While they had to wait awhile to be seen due to the amount of people there, they said the service was faster than at the other location.

“With a city this large and so many people around, you have to have more than one spot,” Rick Munzke said.

According to Price, by offering streamlined service at the express station, the department also hopes to ease the stress that the Russell Street location faces.

While the presence of a second building to reduce wait times was a major goal of the new station, the Department of Public Safety also wanted to provide another location due to the physical size of Sioux Falls.

John Haddock is a Sioux Falls resident who went to the express station to renew his license. He said the new location is much needed.

“It’s going to be convenient for me, because I live on this side of town,” Haddock said.

According to Price, the new express station came about due to a push for improvement within the Department of Public Safety.

“We thought, ‘You know, how can we better serve the citizens of South Dakota?’ Because driver licensing is so forward-facing and has so much interaction with citizens,” Price said.

Once department leaders had the idea for the express station, Price said they went to the governor and Legislature to seek the resources and funding needed to open the new location. Price said the department was grateful for the the support.

As of now, the department doesn’t have plans to open any more express stations. Depending on public feedback about the new location, though, Price said the Department of Public Safety might look at expanding this new format.

The express station is open Wednesday through Friday every week from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., although any services involving an application must be submitted before 4 p.m.

Andrew Kronaizl is a senior at Augustana University. He is from Vermillion, SD, and is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.