DMV hopes to shorten lines with new queuing system
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Many Nevadans dread heading to the DMV for routine business because the wait times can be excruciating. Department officials are hoping to alleviate that frustration with a new system that will allow customers to put themselves in a virtual line.
Using the new queuing system, called the Dash Pass, customers can reserve their spot by texting, calling, or going online. Once in that virtual line, they'll get updates on how many people are ahead of them and a time estimate regarding when their number will be called, so they can continue on with their day instead of waiting in the office.
The DMV is starting a 90-day pilot for the program in Reno Monday, and if everything goes smoothly the technology will be expanded statewide.
DMV Spokesman David Fierro says that the average wait time last year was 40 minutes.
"Now that's an average wait time," he explains. "That doesn't mean that sometimes at some of our metro offices we didn't have waits up to two and, I heard, even three hours in some cases in some of our very busy offices."
Since the New Year, that average wait time has jumped to 65 minutes, a spike that Fierro attributes to several factors:
"We've shifted to an eight-year driver's license, so a lot of people who would have been able to renew by mail or online or at a kiosk, had to come into the office. We also, as you know, launched the new driver authorization card for those people who do not have documentation to receive, basically, a driver's license."
Another factor is the improving economy, which is allowing more Nevadans to buy cars and conduct other DMV business.
Queuing systems like Dash Pass are already operating in DMVs in Texas, Michigan, Kansas, and Missouri. The technology has been around for years within the healthcare, retail, and education sectors, along with theme parks. A four-year contract with the company QLess in Pasadena will cost the state about half-a-million dollars.
Fierro says that in addition to helping with wait times, the new system should alleviate parking issues. He himself has been unable to find a parking spot during his last two visits to the Reno office.