Faced with crowded offices and wait times averaging close to two hours; the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hired 93 new technicians and supervisors on July 1 and is now training them to serve the public.
“The Legislature funded 75 new positions with the intent of relieving the crunch at our offices,” said DMV Director Troy Dillard. “Once this new group is trained and at the windows we should see some relief to the crowding and extended wait times we have been enduring for some time,” he added.
New DMV employees attend a New Hire Academy when they join the agency. They are trained on the intricacies of issuing licenses and vehicle registrations to Nevada’s 1.7 million licensed drivers. New hire academies are being conducted in Las Vegas and Carson City.
“Our techs have to know their stuff and that’s why we put them through the training we do,” said Dillard. He said the new hires would be ready to staff windows at DMV offices by September.
Seventy of the 93 new hires are in Las Vegas and 23 are in Reno. The agency had 18 position vacancies in addition to the new hires authorized by the Legislature.
The relief couldn’t come sooner.
- In 2013, DMV’s six metro offices (four in Las Vegas and offices in Reno and Carson City) served 1.8 million customers. The average wait time was 42 minutes.
- In 2014, DMV served 2.2 million customers, an increase of more than 300,000 customers from the previous year. The average wait time increased to 72 minutes.
- During the first half of 2015, the upward trend continued and the agency is tracking to again hit more than 2.2 million customers served. Wait times have increased to an average close to two hours.
Dillard said the increase in customer counts can be partly attributed to Nevada’s recovering economy, which has resulted in more people buying and registering vehicles. For example, in 2010 there were 130,767 vehicle sales in the state. In the first six months of 2015 there have been more than 150,000 vehicle sales with the number expected to reach 300,000 by year end.
“That’s good for the economy but translates into more customers at our offices,” said Dillard. Dillard said the agency’s new Electronic Dealer Report of Sale (EDRS) program is starting to help. Working with Nevada car dealers, DMV has created a system where vehicle buyers can complete their registration process online and receive their plates and tags in the mail. Since EDRS became mandatory last year, 43,208 vehicles have been registered electronically, without the trip to a DMV office.
Other factors contributing to the increased customer counts include the following:
- Nevada’s population is growing again. The state grew from 2.7M residents in 2010 to 2.8M in 2014, a 5.1 percent rate of increase.
- In January 2014 the Driver Authorization Card program for undocumented residents went into effect. That has added to the customer count.
- In November 2014 the federal Real ID driver’s license initiative became effective, resulting in more people going to an office and longer transaction times.
- In January 2014 an eight-year driver’s license program began, again increasing the number of people going to offices. The eight-year license will remove drivers from having to come to offices every four years. Though contributing to a short term increase, this action will reduce customer counts over the next several years.
- The federal government made changes to the Commercial Driver’s License medical requirements, resulting in an increase of CDL customers at DMV offices.
“It’s been somewhat of a perfect storm situation,” said Dillard. “However, we believe these new positions and ongoing efforts to expand online services will make a marked difference,” he added.