My driver’s license expires in a month, and so I went online to make an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles. It turns out that the appointment could be made only if I had a mobile phone — and, even if I did, I would not be able to make an appointment before my license expired. I don’t have a mobile phone, but I found that I could do a “walk-in” on Saturday, which I did on Oct. 15.
The DMV opens at 8 a.m., and I “walked in” at 7 a.m. The parking lot was full, and the building was surrounded by more than 1,000 people. The lines started at the door and wandered both ways with other small crowds gathered around the parking lot. I spent an hour walking around and talking with various people. Some people had been to the DMV for several Saturdays. On their first trip they had arrived at 7 a.m. to discover that there was an incredible crowd. Two people told me that on their second trip, they had arrived at 4 a.m. and that there was already a small crowd at the door. One person told me that he had waited all day only to find that the DMV closed just about the time he reached the door.
I waited with the crowd until 8 a.m. when we found out that the DMV would be closed due to technical difficulties. I heard several people lamenting that their driver’s licenses would be expired before their next opportunity to walk in. I have three weeks before my license expires, and I’m wondering if I will be able to meet the deadline. Something is obviously wrong with this situation.
Automobiles are an essential part of life in Las Vegas, and the DMV should be able to process the requirements for registration and driving. If the DMV is not capable of servicing Nevada’s citizens, then the DMV should offer a grace period for late registration or licensing. Las Vegas is a 24-hour city, and maybe the DMV should provide more than an eight-hour shift.
Something needs to be done.