ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Clay County trying to improve wait times at new DMV office

To improve the Clay DMV wait times, County Commissioner Jenny Mongeau said the county board has agreed to hire another employee there and has been working on staffing schedules as well as adding

01XX21.N.FF.DMV.jpg
Patrons wait their turn at the Department of Motor Vehicles office on Thursday, Jan. 21, in the Moorhead Center Mall. David Samson / The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

MOORHEAD — Reports of people waiting four hours for service at the Clay County Department of Motor Vehicles office certainly aren't the norm, according to county officials.

Clay County Auditor Lori Johnson and County Administrator Steve Larson said one or even a few such claims found in recent weeks on Facebook may have been true.

But Johnson, who oversees the recently relocated office on the north side of the Moorhead Center Mall, said the average wait time is 30 to 45 minutes.

Larson, who was monitoring the Clay County DMV office on Thursday, Jan. 21, said the average wait that day was about 9 minutes.

The longest wait time for an individual on Thursday was 56 minutes, and that might have been for Taylor Dobbs of Moorhead, who said she had been waiting about an hour to register her vehicle.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I've seen people come and go," Dobbs said with a frustrated look on her face.

She said the system that provides numbers to people in order to be called to the window appeared to be "whacked."

Johnson said that is one of the problems they are trying to solve.

"We're still tweaking it," she said.

Wait times for certain types of transactions take longer than others, and that might have been the situation with Dobbs, according to Johnson.

Additionally, the county is working with the state's new computer system — about two months old — that followed failed software that drew a mountain of criticism for its problems. There are still some glitches with the new system that may cause delays, Johnson and Larson said.

Yet another problem is the flood of people seeking REAL IDs, which starting this fall will be required for people boarding domestic flights or entering federal facilities. Because of the pandemic, the deadline to get them was extended to Oct. 1.

Travelers can use passports, but others prefer the REAL ID, which requires more documentation than a regular license to obtain.

ADVERTISEMENT

REAL IDs take longer to prepare because of the added paperwork, Johnson said, so appointments for those are required for residents on the local DMV website. Those appointments are already booked out to March.

REAL IDs require applicants to have proof of identity and date of birth using a current license or passport, a Social Security card, and proof of Minnesota residency with a utility or financial document. A list of other documents that can be used can be found online.

To improve the Clay DMV wait times, County Commissioner Jenny Mongeau said the county board has agreed to hire another employee there and has been working on staffing schedules as well as adding extra appointment times for REAL IDs..

"I'm confident with the changes, we'll be OK," Mongeau said.

Johnson said DMVs around the nation are known for being "notoriously problematic" as far as waiting times., and Larson agreed.

"It seems like it's never, ever enough," he said.

What to read next
Follow this Fargo-Moorhead news and weather podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
A select rundown of stories found on InForum.
$401 million race was nation’s most expensive
The budget, which features a topline dollar figure of $7.2 billion, makes investments in state employees, providers and the state's correctional infrastructure. Noem will look to push her proposals