Influx of new residents, moving here for the marijuana, means longer lines at DMV

The wait at Larimer County’s Motor Vehicle department is long, but soon it will shorten.

At Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson’s monthly LaPorte community meeting, held Sept. 3 at LaPorte Pizza, Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers spoke about implementing improvements to quicken the line in the Motor Vehicle Office.

In the first seven months of this year, the department handled 17,000 more transactions than compared to the same time frame last year. Motor Vehicle serviced 980 people in their nine hours of operation on Friday Aug. 29. On Sept. 2 at around 12:30 p.m., during their peak time, there were 54 people waiting with an estimated time of 57 minutes.

“Well, the few times I’ve been in there, it seems like it’s way too long, but it depends,” said John Schmid, local resident.

According to Myers, the long waits are attributed to more people moving to Colorado and cited marijuana as a reason, more vehicles being purchased due to a turn in the economy and some bills that passed in legislation.

“Transactions are complicated,” Myers said. “We saw 64 bills in legislation this last session that could have affected our operations. Forty-three passed.”

The new bills add an additional couple of seconds to each transaction, but those seconds add up quickly.

To combat the wait time, Motor Vehicle will implement some changes over the next year. The department has hired on three temps to fill in times when they’re staggered, primarily for lunches, vacations and sick days. Four temps are currently in a six-week training program.

Additionally, customer liaisons will connect with each person to see if they have everything they need or if they’re missing information. The idea is to eliminate the people who can’t get their transaction done that day, because of missing documents or incorrect paper work. The technician staff, responsible for all transactions, will rotate as customer liaisons.

A trainer has been brought on to train new employees and to provided seasoned employees with more efficient techniques.

“The lines are gonna get better, you’re going to see a lot of really good changes,” Myers said. “It just takes time.”

Until the changes are implemented, try arriving before 11:30 a.m. At that time, the technicians rotate lunch hours, meaning there will be less people ready to help. Myers also recommends avoiding Mondays, Fridays, the first day of each month and the last day of each month.

Beyond that, if you’re making a trip to Estes Park, remember to bring your renewal or title paperwork. The flow of people is more steady and the wait will be much shorter.

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