Issuance of driver's licenses isn't the only permitting function on which Oklahoma is falling behind. The state also faces a backlog in processing concealed-carry gun permits.
Driver's exams are hard to get, with people lining up in the middle of the night for a chance at a driving test. Unlike with the gun permits, the number of potential drivers is relatively simple to predict, based on the population of youths turning 16. But no one knows how many will apply for a concealed-carry license.
So many Oklahomans are applying now that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is having trouble doing the requisite background checks. The number is growing in the wake of the Colorado shootings and the prospect of a second term for Barack Obama. Gun dealers are benefiting from the tragedy and noting the effect on sales from Obama's possible re-election. The perception is that a crackdown on gun rights is only a matter of time.
Another factor is a new state law allowing open carry of weapons if a gun owner has a concealed-carry permit. The state is supposed to issue or deny a concealed-carry permit within 60 days of an application. The average time now is 94 days, according to the Tulsa World.