Drivers Flock To Newton To Renew Licenses

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Long wait times at Wichita-area drivers license offices are taking a toll on people's patience. That's pushing some to drive all the way to Harvey County where, for now, the lines are much shorter.

We found several people from Sedgwick County getting their licenses renewed in Newton. Peyton Hayden drove up from Wichita, saying she's rather spend time in the car than in the long line at her local driver's license office.

"We're here because the line is so much shorter," said Hayden. "And the people are nicer."

The idea of coming to the driver's license office at the Harvey County Courthouse in Newton is spreading by word of mouth. The clerks there say they started seeing an increase in Sedgwick County residents earlier in the year. The trend keeps growing.

Harvey County only has two work stations because their population lower. Now, with all the extra Sedgwick County drivers, there's a line there, too. Harvey County Treasurer Becky Fields says it's a growing problem.

"We don't have space. We weren't prepared for all this," said Fields. "We'll hopefully find a solution."

One solution being kicked around is adding a $2 surcharge to non-residents. Those in line told KAKE News they are willing to pay more if it means waiting less.

"I'd pay it. The wait is so much less and they're so nice in there... best experience I've ever had at a driver's license place," said Sedgwick County resident Natalie Bryant.

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