Groomet: Need a Texan ID? Plan to wait for months or line up until dawn

  • Appointments can be weeks or months for ID, which you may need now.
  • You need government-issued ID to get a job, rent an apartment, open a bank account, board a plane, vote, and more.
  • Read on for tips on getting or renewing your ID

Yaisel Castillo couldn’t afford to leave empty-handed. So she arrived at the South Austin driver’s license office at 3:30 a.m. Friday, clutching a blanket and an envelope of documents, waiting for the doors to open at 8.

“Today is my deadline,” said Castillo, 19, who just got a job but didn’t have the government-issued ID that his employer requires. “I had to miss work today to get my ID. I couldn’t risk missing it.”

By dawn, the queue had grown to dozens of people with tired eyes, desperately trying to get documents and unable to wait for months – yes, months — to an appointment at the Texas Department of Public Safety office on William Cannon Drive.

Their last hope was to snatch one of the few same-day meetings offered on weekdays on a first-come, first-served basis. Even if it meant losing a day’s pay or showing up exhausted for the next shift.

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