By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Justin Schmidt
MISSION, KS (KCTV) -
Another day, another set of problems at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Johnson County.
The DMV has been the butt of many jokes, but people haven't been laughing at either of the Johnson County DMVs since Tuesday. Thursday, the offices closed early again.
Everyone seen at the Mission, KS, location Wednesday at 5 p.m. had been waiting since before 11 a.m.
"I got in line this morning. It was supposed to be two hours. It's been more than four hours already," one customer said.
As of noon, the Mission DMV saw a wait time of six hours and 45 minutes, and 221 people were in line. It, along with the Olathe, KS, DMV, stopped taking any more new customers about 11 a.m.
Tuesday, DMV offices reopened after being closed for a week to allow for computer upgrades.
DMV workers began noticing the issues at 7:30 a.m. The issues created such a backlog that more than 400 people were in line at the two Johnson County offices Tuesday. As a result, the decision was made not to accept any additional customers after 1:30 p.m.
All customers were processed by 6:30 p.m.
"The backlog is based on a new computer system. We're in day two of the implementation of that system. They are still continuing to work on improving that system, but based on transaction times, it's a little bit longer than the old system," Johnson County Treasurer Tom Franzen said.
"We have to put a stop so we won't go past 6, 7, 8 at night," Franzen said.
Lora Deatherage needs to renew her tags, and she's been trying to do it for weeks.
"They're actually expired. I had to work the last day of April. I got up here on the first, and they were kind of closed. I didn't know that until then," she said.
Deatherage is hoping any officer who may pull her over understands the situation.
"I'm really hoping so. I tried to come up here today again, no such luck," she said.
Others weren't so understanding.
"It's the DMV - if you come here and get frustrated, that's just the way it is," said Daniel Stroud, who was also trying to register a vehicle.
The county said the recent upgrade to the state's computer system is the reason for the long wait times.
"The state of Kansas is asking us to gather more information and verify information in the system that they transferred from the old system. There's a little built-in extra time by work we're doing at the county level," Franzen said.
The Johnson County treasurer said long wait times are anticipated in the foreseeable future as implementation of the new state computer system by the Kansas Department of Revenue continues.
Officials recommend that people wanting to get a new driver's license or who have May registration renewals do it online to help alleviate the backup.
It is recommended to process the renewal transactions using the online Web Tags service at www.kswebtags.org or by mail to Johnson County Motor Vehicle at P.O. Box 29192, Shawnee Mission, KS 66201.
For those who are unable to go online to access their system, DMV officials said they plan to open at 7:30 a.m. each morning and for those entering the DMV to expect a wait.
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