If you’ve had to renew your Idaho Driver’s License – or test for a new one — this summer at our office at 400 N. Benjamin Lane, chances are you’ve had to wait for a while.
This summer has been one of our busiest ever, and we know it’s been extra frustrating for people who have the bad luck to stop by at our busiest times.
We just want you to know we’ve made a bunch of moves over the last year to speed up the process and reduce waiting times – and have more coming over the next several months.
Before we get into that, here are a few tips to avoid long wait times over the next few months. Monday, Thursday, and Friday are our busiest days, with average wait times being over an hour. (Fridays are busiest, with an average wait time last week of 1 hour 9 minutes.)
By contrast, the average wait times on Tuesday and Wednesday are significantly shorter. (The average wait times on Tuesday and Wednesday last week was 53 minutes).
The longest wait times every day are opening and lunch time, so if you can hit late morning or late afternoon, chances are your wait times will be shorter.
Over the past year we’ve added a hour to the work day (we open at 7:30 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.); introduced an online appointment system, where you can schedule an appointment up to three months out, so you don’t have to wait in line; added an employee to answer phone calls from citizens who have questions or want to know how long the current wait times are; and added a check-in clerk in the lobby, to make sure people have the appropriate documentation they need to get their license renewed before they commit to waiting.
That’s what we’ve done. What we are working toward now is adding more employees and finding a location in western Ada County to open a second Driver’s License Office next year.
The Ada County Board of Commissioners have recently approved adding four more Driver’s License clerks to our current staff, which will help us keep as many of our 21 stations at the Benjamin Lane office open as possible. We are in the process of hiring those employees now, so we hope to have those jobs filled by fall.
The Commissioners also budgeted about $500,000 for us to find, lease, and equip a second Driver’s License office somewhere in western Ada County.
We need to find existing office space that can accommodate a lot of cars and people and is near major streets so people have good access. We don’t know where that will be yet.
We also have a new system coming online this fall that will eventually be able to display current wait times at our website (https://adacounty.id.gov/sheriff/services/drivers-licenses/), so people can check that before deciding if they have the time they need.
If you can, schedule an appointment at https://dmvscheduling.adacounty.id.gov/naoa/index.jsp
Right now, the appointments for basic renewals are booked until late October. That’s a long time away, we know, but remember you have up to two years before your driver’s license expires to renew it – and it doesn’t change your new expiration date, so it becomes a 10-year license.
Beginning October 1, 2020, you will need to have an official Star Card license or REAL Identification (ID) card or another accepted form of identification, such as a passport, to fly commercially within the United States or access a federal facility, national laboratory, or military base.
So if you want to avoid a headache next year when it’s time to fly and you realize you haven’t got your Star Card yet, our advice is to find some time in the next year to upgrade.
You can find all the info you need about that Star card at
It’s vitally important that you have correct documents — including your original birth certificate and social security card (no laminated) — when you arrive at Driver’s License to qualify for a Star Card. You can find a handy checklist at https://adacounty.id.gov/sheriff/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/10/Star-Card-Checklist-V1-05312019.pdf