Unhappy taxpayers, crying children, and personnel who were applying for other jobs – that is how Unified Government Treasurer Debbie Pack described the situation in the Motor Vehicle Department in Wyandotte County.
Ever since the state shifted more of the workload to the local offices in May 2012, also changing forms and software at the same time, there have been long waits in the Motor Vehicle office for people who want to get their vehicles registered. The state shifted the approval process from the state to the county.
The county office handles about 60 to 70 new registrations a day at each of its two locations, and sometimes the number is 100.
The average wait in February 2014 was four hours for new registrations, Pack told the Unified Government Commission at the 7 p.m. meeting March 20.
But something is being done now that may address the long waits in the office, she said.
Currently, Wyandotte County’s Motor Vehicle office is working with Shawnee County, which developed its own queue system to allow customers Internet access that will tell them the approximate wait time, she said. The office is also working on a call-in system.
That will mean that customers may come in with their paperwork, leave for a few hours, get a message that they will be needed in 45 minutes, and then come back when it is close to the time they will be needed. The office still will need about the same amount of time to process the paperwork, she added. But customers will not have to wait in the office the entire time.
Pack hopes the new system will be running by the end of March.
The county office handled more than 37,000 new registrations in 2013, and there were 114,000 renewals that year.
Pack said the state had four to seven full-time persons at the state level working on Wyandotte County cases in 2012 when it shifted the approval process to the county level. That shifted some additional costs to the county in the form of extra personnel needed, according to UG officials.
The county has had to add one approver and other staff since then. Only one employee can take time off from the office at any time, she said. She also asked the commission for additional personnel.