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Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Residents waiting over 3 hours in DMV lines

After waiting in line for two and a half hours, Jim Leonard, right, Baldwin City, gives his father-in-law Manny Brandt a look of disappointment after Brandt was told he may not have the necessary documents in order to be issued an identification card, Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Luckily for Leonard, Brandt was able to furnish enough proof to get an I.D. Some visitors to the DMV have had complaints of excessively long lines, but DMV workers attribute the longer lines partly to the seasonal influx of teens getting their driver's licenses.

After waiting in line for two and a half hours, Jim Leonard, right, Baldwin City, gives his father-in-law Manny Brandt a look of disappointment after Brandt was told he may not have the necessary documents in order to be issued an identification card, Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Luckily for Leonard, Brandt was able to furnish enough proof to get an I.D. Some visitors to the DMV have had complaints of excessively long lines, but DMV workers attribute the longer lines partly to the seasonal influx of teens getting their driver's licenses.

June 27, 2012

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Area residents are reporting long wait times when renewing or applying for driver’s licenses at the state’s Douglas County service station in Lawrence, 1035 N. Third St.

Naomi Cataudella was waiting Wednesday with her daughter, who was applying for her first driver’s license. They got there early, about 7:40 a.m. but waited three hours and 10 minutes before being seen, she said.

“We came yesterday, and it was like this,” said Cataudella, motioning to the dozens of people snaked around the lobby.

The two- and three-hour waits are simply a product of the summer rush, said Jeannine Koranda, Kansas Department of Revenue spokeswoman.

“This time of year is typically the busiest,” she said. “We’re just moving thousands through this time of year.”

Part of that rush has to do with students on summer break flocking to the offices, Koranda said.

But what about the $40 million computer upgrade that caused glitches in the system earlier this year?

Koranda said that has nothing to do with the current long lines, as driver’s licenses applications and renewals still operate on the old system.

Across the state, Koranda said, offices have recently reported wait times under an hour.

“It just depends on the office,” she said.

At the local service station, the wait times have built camaraderie among the fellow frustrated drivers, Cataudella said.

“It was like a family,” Cataudella said. “I feel like I should invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner.”

She took the role of greeting the newbies — just starting their journey at the office — with a cheery warning: “Hey, welcome to hell.”

Comments

anotherview 2 years, 5 months ago

Is this where I go to get a photo ID so I can register to vote?

Randy Leonard 2 years, 5 months ago

Get used to it. The level of service you can expect from the state is only going to get worse thanks to Brownback's "experiment". BTW, I waited over 2 hours in April to renew my license. There were 3 people working to process renewals and to test new drivers. There were about 3 additional workstations not staffed which seemed to indicate that at one time there were double the staff working there. As long as we as a society are not willing to pay for the level of service we expect we had better change or expectations.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

And the conservatives will be the most likely to complain. Maybe Kobach needs to stop writing unconstitutional legislation for other states, and send some people over. Or is this more of the voter suppression plan? Require voter ID, but make it harder to get it? One GOP person has actually come out and admitted the plan. http://articles.philly.com/2012-06-27/news/32442108_1_voter-id-law-voter-fraud-turzai-of-allegheny-county

bunnyhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

what exactly does Obamacare have to do with Sam Brownback's systematic destruction of all State services in Kansas? Obama has NOTHING to do with Brownback closing progams and offices for all kinds of services all over the state.

Boondog 2 years, 5 months ago

Easy birthday gift for spouce. I got there before her and waited in line until she arrived. When she arrived she was 5th in line. She took me out for dinner! For $30 I'll wait in line for you!

somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

I would have held out for some tricks of the coitus

akt2 2 years, 5 months ago

We went and stood in line outside the office at 6:30a. Got in and got it done. Then went for breakfast.

usesomesense 2 years, 5 months ago

Call me crazy, but wouldn't it make a lot of sense AND improve the 'customer' experience by having some sort of 'receptionist' type person that answers the phone and does a first check if someone has brought in the proper items before they even wait in line? Seems like the other folks could get more done if they didn't have to answer the phone and people would be way less hacked off if they were sent back home within five minutes because they didn't bring everything they need.

Do they at least have a big 'checklist' poster that says: "Items you should already have with you"?

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 5 months ago

Interesting that you should suggest that. I just got a Tennessee drivers license and they did BOTH things you suggested; had a poster with a list of required documentation and a receptionist who did a document verification. Good system.

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

I got my Kansas license in Mission, KS and that's what they do. Front desk where you check in, show that you have everything you need, then get in line. Never waited more than ~45 minutes.

2 years, 5 months ago

I got my new license in Mission after I got married and got there at about 6:45am and I was out and at work by 7:15. Their pre-check system makes SO much sense!

werekoala 2 years, 5 months ago

Don't you love how conservatives love to slash funding to the bone, and then turn around and complain about how inefficient things are?

I'm honestly surprised Brownie hasn't tried to"privatize" the DMV like the boondoggle Missouri tried, which essentially spent the same amount of money on less locations and lower staff, but made a bunch of money for selected supporters.

Stuart Evans 2 years, 5 months ago

Every time I've gone to the DMV there are no fewer than two people ahead of me who do not have the required documents, and they further don't understand what that paperwork is, and generally just don't understand either why they need it, or how to get it. What frustrates me is that I do have the correct documents and my time at the counter is usually summed up in about 5 minutes.

This isn't rocket science folks. Do a bit of research, understand what you need, and the entire process will breeze right along.

Glo 2 years, 5 months ago

usesomesense; Excellent idea! I was at the DMV for over 3 hours 2 weeks ago. It seemed that one of the four clerks was always on the phone for an extended length of time and of course they also had to leave their post to give driving tests. Anyone going to the DMV office should know that the first two and a half hours will probably be spent standing, then you get to play musical chairs as you move up the line for the last hour or so. There are no restrooms on site nor a drinking fountain. Saw several people with small children and several disabled people struggling with conditions.

nut_case 2 years, 5 months ago

"But what about the $40 million computer upgrade that caused glitches in the system earlier this year? Koranda said that has nothing to do with the current long lines, as driver’s licenses applications and renewals still operate on the old system."

$40 million spent AND we still have a 3 hour wait. What an absurd waste of money that was!

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

It was an update to maintain current efficiency levels, not improve them, apparently.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure some GOP private sector supporter made a lot of money installing this system too. But of course, maybe we are just suffering from class envy, and are jealous because we don't rip off people too.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

It seems that the Pennsylvania House Majority Leader, Republican Mike Turzai, was caught on tape saying that the state's new voter law "is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania."

Of course, it's not like we didn't already know that was behind all these new voter laws.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

In California, a 3 hour wait at the DMV is called the express line.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 5 months ago

A similar thought crossed my mind. If you think you have to wait a long time for anything here in Kansas, visit California for a few months.

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

In North Korea, most people don't even own a car!
This is Kansas, not bass ackwards California.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't see any connection at all between two of states in the USA and North Korea. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

FloridaSunshine 2 years, 5 months ago

Ron...I was thinking the exact same thing...

FloridaSunshine 2 years, 5 months ago

Oh, yes!! Having lived in Southern California once upon a time, your DMV sounds like a dream-come-true.

THIS IS NOT WHERE I CLICKED ON "REPLY" FOR THIS POST TO BE...I TRULY DETEST THESE "NEW PROCEDURES" OF LJWORLD.COM I TRIED ON AND OFF ALL DURING YESTERDAY TO GET A "THUMBS UP" ON SOMEONE'S COMMENT...STILL HAVEN'T ACCOMPLISHED THAT. KEPT BEING SENT BACK TO THE LOG IN PAGE...WOULD LOG IN, STILL NO "THUMBS UP" WHEN I CLICKED ON IT. IS ANYONE ELSE HAVING PROBLEMS?

Prairielander 2 years, 5 months ago

There should be an expediting fee where for $50 you get to go to the front of the line or maybe there is a separate facility that you could go to for a fee. Better yet, could I pay someone to do this for me?

FloridaSunshine 2 years, 5 months ago

Prairielander...had to smile at your last line...great question!

esu4kids 2 years, 5 months ago

In February I waited in line twice for almost two hours each time once for my issue and once for my grandmother. There were no "teens" in line. Being in customer service I was amazed at how lacks-a-daisical the workers are. When I finally got to the counter I was not greeted with a smile or eye contact, it was "what can I do for you" as she continued to type on her computer. As I told her what I was there for she decided to help answer a question for the co-worker sitting beside her that had it under control. He was not so pleased with her interruption either.

booyalab 2 years, 5 months ago

Beat me to it. However, it doesn't give the full picture...since the DMV doesn't cost taxpayers several trillion dollars.

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 5 months ago

Criticize it if you want, but Obamacare is a blessing to many Americans, hard working people who cannot afford health care otherwise. Honestly, shouldn't a nation as wealthy as America be able to afford good health care? And now, nobody gets to pile on for a free ride. Everyone must pay. Are you more concerned with the idea of socialism or the idea that America will be a better country for it? My two adults children, aged 26 and 23, will have great health insurance in a few years, and as long as the Republicans don't fight to overturn it, will never be denied care because of pre-existing conditions, which neither has, luckily. Aren't you happy for those who put in a 40 hour day and now will also have health care? Sometimes, I just don't get people. I just don't.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

I sympathize with those who have encountered less than good customer service (I've also been in customer service), but please try to remember that these workers are also stressed out by the long waiting lines and probably have had to deal with a lot of unhappy, disgruntled and sometimes offensive customers---including those who didn't bring the proper paperwork and then are angry with the worker and/or take up a lot of extra time because they're not prepared---haven't signed on the dotted line, etc. They are probably exhausted long before the end of the day.

Usesomesense is exactly right, but it's probably not the fault of the person on the level you are dealing with that the offices are set up in an inefficient matter. In my job as a customer service rep I was bound by rules that were stupid and counter productive and I had no control over many things. Also, because of the atmosphere set by the manager, we were often sabotaged by other employees. These kind of changes need to be made at the top.

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 5 months ago

verity, thank you for your comment. Unless you have worked in customer service you don't know what it is like. It may not be possible for things to run smoothly. I admire those who work in customer service for remaining as calm as they do under conditions that are unpleasant to all concerned.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 5 months ago

This is the one place where Brownback does need to use the model of Mitch Daniels in Indiana. Automate everything, especially plate registrations and license renewals. Do it online. The only people at a DMV should be the elderly and those taking tests.

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 5 months ago

The elderly do know how to use computers, I know because I am one and I am, and I much prefer filling out forms online. You can print out receipts and such to keep for your records.

William Weissbeck 2 years, 5 months ago

But sometimes, because of age, in some states older drivers have to take the test and the eye exam after a certain age.

George_Braziller 2 years, 5 months ago

Not in Kansas. I do some attendant work for an elderly woman who has had two strokes, is unable to drive, and is in early stages of dementia. She needed a photo ID so she could fly to her granddaughter's wedding. Didn't have a current one so I took her with a copy of her birth certificate which was almost impossible to get without a current photo ID. Went in just to get a Kansas ID card.

Turned out her license hadn't expired yet, she had just lost it. It was obvious that she wasn't able to drive anymore but they gave her a replacement one anyway. The eye test took about 15 seconds and we walked out the door with a print out which served as a temporary driver's license. It was a bit frightening.

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 5 months ago

How hard would it be to have 10 computers sitting on tables for citizens to use to fill out their information? How hard would it be to have one person giving assistance to these citizens? How incredibly silly is this three-hour process?

Does anyone else wonder about this? An inexpensive laptop could help 40 to 50 people renew every day.

JackMcKee 2 years, 5 months ago

Brownback is the worst. Does anything work in this state?

Patricia Davis 2 years, 5 months ago

Fear. Intimidation. Bullying. The Brownback trinity for changing Kansas into the land of his dreams.

bornon7 2 years, 5 months ago

Jack M, Do you look like Jeff Bridges?!

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 5 months ago

I have no idea what this article is talking about. I went for a new driver's license a few times. The 10 to 20 minute wait was no big deal. And, the vehicle inspection that is required when you bring another vehicle into Kansas and want a Kansas title took what? 15 minutes?

The best explanation for all these complaints is that I have a charmed life, and other people don't.

justtired 2 years, 5 months ago

I was there this morning,,and the line was to the door with 2 people working..another person came from the back and asked the other workers if they were busy and needed help..DUH!!

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

This is what happens when there is no incentive to operate efficiently.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 5 months ago

I went to the Lawrence office in early April to renew my license that would expire early in May.

I still have not received my license. The receipt they gave me in April expired, and I had to go back, wait in line again, and get a new receipt, and now wait until possibly August for my new license. It has not arrived yet.

The already-burdened system that has now been torpedoed by a "new, upgraded, improved" (and expensive) vomputer system is now more difficult to use, slow to respond and more grossly inefficient. This is what you get with clueless management, who purchase a bill of goods from a software peddler who is out to make a buck at the taxpayer's expense.

It seems it just gets worse and worse, people in positions of authority failing to excercise good judgement and wisdom and we wind up in this situation.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Or maybe that was the plan. How will you vote if you don't get your driver's license. And why is Mission, Kansas so quick, but not Douglas County? I'm not a conspiracy theory nut, buuuuttt....

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Sometimes it really is a conspiracy.

JackMcKee 2 years, 5 months ago

yea toe we're so much better off with lines at the ER, along with the cost. Do you even think before you post?

JackMcKee 2 years, 5 months ago

There won't be any increase in the number of people who seek medical care, it will just be possible to provide care in a more economical and efficient manner.

So maybe it's time to go ahead and go over that cliff, toe. You seem hell bent on making it over.

Delta_D 2 years, 5 months ago

That situation is why I go to Ottawa. The longest I ever waited was 45 min. and they have public restrooms.

notorious_agenda 2 years, 5 months ago

To those of you talking about a "New System" This is the driver's license office, They are not using new software; It says that clearly in the article.

George_Braziller 2 years, 5 months ago

I've always hated going to the Lawrence DMV office. The entire atmosphere is dreary and depressing and everyone working there seems to be bored out of their minds.

Last time I was there the guy I was talking to stared at his monitor the entire time and never once actually looked at me. Didn't even look up when I handed him the check.

somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

The best things in life are worth waiting for, ask the people who hold out until marriage or the fat person camping out until for a new Krispy Kreme to open and the ultimate in waiting, death. Isn't Heaven worth waiting for?

Wolf1972 2 years, 5 months ago

I was just there a couple weeks ago. 2 and a half hours waiting and waiting. Not to mention that the place has limited seating, people cut in line, and the place is grungy with stains, etc on the floor. If you have to use the restroom during your half day stay, you get a 2X4 with a key on it and have to go somewhere outside of the office. What year is this??? Come on... even a government agency can do better than this. American has some of the highest taxes in the world. If we stop wasting them and use them properly, we could have something decent. Its ridiculous!

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence can't pay for new bathrooms AND provide the LPD with more funding than the Marines....at least by the time you renew your license again we'll have enough police officers in town to safeguard against people cutting in line at the DMV.

irishdevil99 2 years, 5 months ago

I recently moved to JoCo and was pleasantly surprised by the Mission DMV. The wait was very long, but two things made that much less annoying: a) I was able to ask a receptionist whether I had what I needed and would be able to accomplish my task that day b) They had in place a couple of keypads near the entrance where you could enter your cell phone number, and that would place you on the waiting list. You could leave, text for estimated remaining time updates, have them text you when there was 15 minutes remaining, and even choose to move a few places down the list if you didn't think you'd make it back in time. That left relatively few people sitting around in the waiting room. Apparently, you can even get in line from a weblink before you leave home and just show up when they text you. I'm not sure how much a system like that costs, but it's wonderful.

scopi_guy 2 years, 5 months ago

I really miss being able to renew at the AAA office on 23rd street. They were open Saturday mornings, and for just a few dollars extra, had the pleasure of being in and out in about ten minutes. Last 2 times I had to renew, I did it there. Was well worth it.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, they were lovely people. They told me that the new equipment being used for driver's licenses (not these computers, but instant licenses) were too expensive for the state to give them one.

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