ROUND ROCK, Texas (Nexstar) — Janis Franklin has allergies.
She takes a combination of medicines — some prescription, some over the counter — to combat those allergies. She’s almost running out of her Claritin-D.
“I have a very dire need for the medication and you can’t get it,” she said.
She can’t get the allergy medicine because her driver license, which her local CVS pharmacist scans to verify her pick-up, is expired. It expired last month because she’s had trouble getting an appointment for a new one with the Texas Department of Public Safety amid the pandemic.
DPS extended the expiration of driver licenses due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The extension means that if your Texas ID/DL/CDL/election identification certificate (EIC) card expires on or after March 13, 2020, it falls under the period covered by the State of Disaster Declaration related to COVID-19 and will remain valid for 60 days after which time DPS issues a public notice that the extension period for the disaster declaration has been lifted,” the agency wrote in a statement.
That 60-day notice has not been issued yet.
Customers can download a Verification of Driver License Expiration Extension form to present to anyone who questions the validity of a license that expired after mid-March.
“We would encourage your viewer to print the extension sheet and ask to speak to a pharmacist or manager to see what alternative options there may be for purchasing medication,” the agency said.
Franklin tried bringing the form to her pharmacy.
“I printed out the form and I took it to them,” she said. Her pharmacist would not authorize the pick-up.
After this reporter contacted CVS Health to inquire about the situation, a spokesperson said the company “adapted our policy to accept expired licenses in states where a grace period is in place.”
“We realize people’s lives have been disrupted by the pandemic, and in some cases this resulted in delayed license renewals,” spokesperson Monica Prinzing wrote in an emailed statement. “To meet customer needs and ensure they are receiving the medication they need, we’ve adapted our policy to accept expired licenses in states where a grace period is in place.”
“We are working directly with the patient and store team to resolve the issue,” Prinzing wrote.
This reporter was in Franklin’s kitchen when the pharmacy called to inform her she could pick up her allergy medicine.
“She was just apologizing up one side and down the other,” Franklin said.
“I really appreciate your intervention here because I was at wit’s end on how to get this solved,” Franklin said. “I don’t think I would have ever got anything without your help.”
While Franklin’s dilemma with CVS was resolved, an inquiry to Walgreens to find out if any of its customers faced similar challenges was not returned.