KATY (Covering Katy News) - State Rep. Gina Calanni, D-Katy, is lobbying to build a Driver's License Mega Center in the Katy Area. She says Katy area residents have to drive to Rosenberg or Houston to renew their licenses and it's time for a more convenient location to be built that's closer to home.
“Although we boosted funding by $200 million to hire more staff at DPS Driver License offices, long wait times at locations in our area will continue to increase as our region grows. That’s why we must begin the process now to secure funding for a new DPS location during the next legislative session,” said Rep. Calanni.
Calanni met with TxDOT officials on September 27 and now she's inviting DPS officials and Katy leaders to come together to discuss what she calls "the community’s urgent need for improved access to driver license services."
Participants in the meeting included Amanda Arriaga (Chief of the DPS Driver License Division), Jessica Ballew (Chief of DPS Infrastructure Operations), Jason Taylor (DPS Regional Director of Southeast Region), Katy Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris, Katy Council Member Janet Corte, Katy City Administrator Byron Hebert, and Katy Police Chief Noe Diaz.
During the 86th Legislative Session, DPS requested funding for 15 additional fully-staffed driver license facilities. A potential Katy location ranked fourth on the list. However, no funding was allocated for a new facility in Katy.
"Despite projections that Katy will grow by 4 to 6 percent for the foreseeable future, no driver license services exist in western Harris County and a majority of area residents drive to Rosenberg for these critical services," said a statement from Calanni's office. "According to DPS, the Rosenberg facility, and the Houston Gessner facility, are both at capacity," the statement said.
“Residents of western Harris County and House District 132 are understandably deeply frustrated that they must drive to Rosenberg or other locations far away from their community to simply renew their licenses or take a driver’s license test," Calanni said. "Together, we can provide a solution to make sure our neighbors are not forced to drive across the region or waste their day waiting in long lines.”