Long waits irk customers at Office of Motor Vehicles



Posted on January 16, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS - Fewer employees are causing even longer waits at local motor vehicle offices.

That is the latest from the nonpartisan legislative fiscal office’s monthly report to state lawmakers, which comes as no surprise if you have visited the OMV lately.

For most, a trip to the office of motor vehicles has turned into a long day of waiting and those forced to wait in these long lines say nothing seems to be helping.

“The lines are ridiculous,” said Belinda Robertson. “Coming into a public place like this for public service, the lines are real long.”

According to the recent report, wait times at the OMV's largest offices are five times longer than they were in 2009 and budget cuts are to blame.

To save money over the last five years, the OMV cut 23 percent of its staff.

“They need more employees,” said Robertson. “There is one lady in there waiting on over 100 people right now in line, waiting just to get a number.”

“I mean they have this big place, with all these stations, but at one point they were only using four people,” agreed Carol Lavie.

To help cut down on those long wait times, the state started a pilot program that will eventually allow several outside businesses, or private tag agents, to offer the same services.

However, right now the program only has two locations. One is in Baton Rouge and the other is located in Metairie.

Casey and Casey Auto Title and Express does everything a motor vehicle office does minus the wait, but it comes at a price.

“We charge an extra fee than the department of motor vehicles,” explained Amy Casey, the business development manager for Casey and Casey Auto Title Express. “It is a free service if you do go to the OMV, for us it is a convenience fee.”

For a few more bucks they will have you in and out in less than 15 minutes.

“It’s beyond great, said Mark Britz. “It’s amazing and you ask yourself, why can’t the OMV do that.”

That’s why folks, like Britz, say that convenience is well worth the extra 18 dollars they have to pay.

“It’s a minimum three to five hour wait and I don't have three to five hours to waste,” said Britz.

The report also detailed goals for that pilot program, stating the state hopes to have 10 to 15 more private tag agents open and running sometime this year.