MONTICELLO - After the Sullivan County office of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) had to close for two weeks due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, an already backlogged office had …
MONTICELLO - After the Sullivan County office of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) had to close for two weeks due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, an already backlogged office had to work through rescheduling appointments.
County Clerk Russell Reeves, whose office oversees the DMV, said they have contacted everyone by phone or email who had appointments during that time to reschedule.
They do not believe the public was exposed, but because of quarantine requirements they were not able to process in-person transactions for the two-week period.
“Fortunately, we had the foresight to have a senior staff member working separately, enabling us to continue with the mail and emergency cases during the closure,” Reeves told the Democrat.
Sullivan is not alone, other counties such as Orange, Ulster and Fulton have also had to shut down due to coronavirus exposures.
DMVs across the state had to close for three months at the start of the pandemic, and this caused delays that they are still reckoning with.
Since October the DMV has processed over 7,500 appointments and $1.3 million in transaction fees.
Reeves said the wait time for a driver's license was originally three months, but is now at two weeks. This was in large part because they implemented a new online appointment system that cut down on scheduling time.
“The DMV office has been faced with serious staffing issues throughout the year in addition to coping with COVID restrictions,” Reeves said. “At times the office was operating with only four to five personnel trying to keep up with the sheer volume of customer transactions and thousands of phone calls.”
Reeves said he discussed these issues with County Manager Josh Potosek and the county legislators and they came up with solutions.
The DMV will stay open later as needed and they are in the process of hiring two new employees. In addition, they added more computers for testing.
Reeves said, “The DMV will be getting much needed staff and equipment, enhancing the office's ability to serve DMV customers more effectively, now and into the future.”
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here