DMV facing unprecedented backlog amid reopening

The DMV reopened its doors for appointment-only services two weeks ago; in that two weeks they’ve received over 130,000 appointment requests.

Posted: Jun 16, 2020 4:36 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 9:32 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. – The DMV reopened its doors for appointment-only services two weeks ago; in that two weeks they’ve received over 130,000 appointment requests.

“At this time, we have about 2/3 of our 60 offices open for appointments and we hope to have about 15 more open for appointments next week,” said David House, a spokesman for DMV, “we’re starting to ramp up our ability to catch up with this huge unprecedented backlog.”

Right now, the DMV is only accepting appointments for services that must be done in person, that includes ID and driver license issuance and VIN inspections. A majority of other services can be done through the mail or online for the time being.

“One key piece that we can’t do is drive tests,” said House, “we don’t know when we’ll be able to do that.”

To help manage the flood of requests, the DMV is moving staff around.

“We’re shifting more staff to setting appointments and we’re making those calls and getting through more and more people,” said House.

Eventually, those staff will move back to be in-office to help handle appointments.

To make an appointment, you must go online. A series of questions will lead you to a request form. The DMV will make three attempts to call you to schedule your appointment.

“When you do request an appointment, watch your phone carefully because you could receive a number that is blocked or unlisted and it maybe DMV and not spam or a Robo call,” said House.

If you don’t receive a call back within 10 days of your appointment request or if you missed the calls from the DMV to schedule your appointment, you can call your local DMV office. Expect a long wait time.

“Our phone centers are extremely busy there will be a long wait time. If the phones are overloaded at the time that you call then you’ll get a rapid busy signal or it might not connect at all so just wait a while and try again,” said House.

The DMV plans to have a new system installed by July 6th that will enable them to issue Real ID’s and will open the possibility to offer more services online.

“Once we have this new system online not only will be able to offer the Real ID option in Oregon starting July 6 but we will be able to offer new services online; at least partially online, maybe entirely online. That will help a lot. It’s not just convenient but it’s safe and could help us, in the long run, catch up with this backlog,” said House.

The DMV says it doesn’t know how long it will take to catch up, its guess is months, maybe even into next year before they get through the current backlog.

In the state of Oregon, drivers are granted a “grace period” into October to allow time for everyone to get any title, registration or license taken care of.

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