If you need to go to the DMV, bring along some patience and maybe a book or two.
Usually, long lines combined with low staffing has some people waiting for hours.
It may be spring break, but lately, the Department of Public Safety on Woodrow Wilson in Jackson is busy like this regularly.
Department of Public Safety Therese Apel says, “It’s what we have pretty much every day. We’re not proud of it, but it’s what we experience because we have right now and a new system that we’ve got within the last year.”
The system upgrade means many of the examiners are still learning the ins and outs. Where before, a task would take three to four minutes, it has now jumped up to 5 or 8 minutes.
Apel says, “We’re moving a little bit slower, but we also can’t ignore the elephant in the room which is staffing. As of January, we were down around 50 employees. problem is it takes 3 to 4 months to fill a spot.”
Timothy Leach says he waited in line for 6 hours.
“This shouldn’t be like this and we are in the state capital and we have to come here to get reinstatement fees and all that other stuff.”
Others say it has not been as bad for them.
Bonita Mendenhall says, “You need to be there before they open because there is a long line there. It’s a long wait they are busy. this is not an appointment situation and first come first serve.”
Apel says, “It’s not only a staffing issue that hard to hire it’s also a funding issue. I think we are hopeful that this is something our legislator will take a good look at this time because it’s getting to the point that we can’t not take a look at it.”
The Department of Public Safety says its working to alleviate the problem, but it will not be an overnight fix.
The department says it is trying to address the problem by introducing a filtering process according to what you’re trying to do.
Quicker tasks will be separated from more lengthy ones.
They are also working to possibly introduce an appointment system and making sure people know to use kiosks or online options.