SAN ANTONIO -

Ribbon cutting ceremonies on Friday marked the grand opening of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Driver License Mega Center in San Antonio.

The new facility is one of five such centers in the state funded with $63 million approved during the 82nd Texas Legislative session.

It is designed to handle the increased workload placed on existing centers and features many new high-tech features, according to Steve McCraw, the Texas DPS director.

He said customer convenience was a major consideration in the center’s design.

“We can put a level of convenience back with the customer that they deserve,” McCraw said.

Among the new features is a level of service that allows customers to walk in, reserve a place in line, and leave.

“We can leverage technology so we can allow the customer to wait somewhere else," he said. “At home, at their office or at the coffee shop, as opposed to a waiting in line inside our office.”

The center features 22,000 square feet of space, 22 work stations and kiosks for customers to use to do license renewals.

McCraw said that they are also exploring the possibility of extending the hours of operation at all driver's license centers.

DPS opened its first mega center in Pflugerville in October 2012.

Last month, DPS opened two additional offices in the Houston area – one in Spring and one in Rosenberg – and one in Garland near Dallas. The Leon Valley mega center is the fifth in Texas. The sixth is projected to open in Fort Worth at the end of January.

DPS encourages eligible customers to skip the trip to the driver license office altogether by visiting its web site.