Lawton residents struggle with lengthy DMV wait times

Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The summer is usually the time of year when high schoolers and young adults try to get their driving learners permit or license, but for those here in Lawton, it may be Fall before they are even seen to take a test.

The DMV parking lot was full of vehicles, but it didn’t take long for people to turn around and walk back to their cars.

Laqawn Watkins was one of those people who quickly turned around.

“They told me that they only got the first 15 people that came in and the earliest person came at 4:30 and the last two people came at 8,” said Watkins. “I have 3 kids, I have to get to work, get home from work, I don’t have someone that can take me all the time like that. I do have a car but I can’t drive, so it makes it harder for me.”

When going to schedule an appointment for a permit or test, it’s advised to plan ahead. This can mean taking some time off work, finding a babysitter, and of course scheduling now instead of later.

“The DMV is blocked out, I mean they’re two or three months behind,” said Jerry Wade, the owner of Wade’s Driving School. “If people just try to plan things a little earlier, they want to try and get it done, oh I gotta get it done before next week I’m going out of town you know. Theres certain things you can’t do so quick. You gotta just do it a little earlier.”

Citizens we spoke to earlier this morning believe one of the causes of the long wait lists is due to the DMV being understaffed, we asked the employees working there about this and they referred us to Service Oklahoma, the branch overseeing DMV’s across the state. 7 News has reached out to them but has not heard back at this time.

The long lines at the Lawton DMV are making citizens turn away from the local testing site to others in Southwest Oklahoma. The closest ones are in Altus or Chickasha; which are both around a one-hour drive-time.