RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Four month waits for online appointments and walk-in hopefuls turned away on a regular basis — that’s the situation many are facing when it comes to try to conduct in-person business at DMV offices across the state.
If you come to a DMV office as a walk-in, you’re more than likely to be turned away because of staffing shortages.
Maria Guerrero experienced being turned away from the Raleigh DMV office on Spring Forest Road on Wednesday.
“They couldn’t see us because they were short staffed and that’s the reason they can’t take any more walk-ins,” she said.
“Being down a few examiner positions in any location, whether its urban or rural, impacts the amount of services and customers that can be helped,” said DMV commissioner Wayne Goodwin.
He said the agency has a 33 percent vacancy rate and needs to hire 126 temporary license examiners, and 110 permanent examiners.
It’s not just walk-ins who are affected. Those who want to book online also face long delays.
“They told us to make an appointment online,” said Arusha Johnson. “That was back in November of 2022 and the first available appointment was today, February 2, 2023.”
“We’ve determined 25 percent of our appointments are no-shows,” said Goodwin. “That is impacting not only the folks seeking appointments, but also impacts the number of folks who approach an office to be a walk-in customer on any given day.”
The commissioner has required many DMV offices to open an hour earlier, at 7 a.m., just to handle walk-ins.
He says Saturday hours will be added starting in May.
Goodwin also says people should take advantage of online services, but for some that’s not always an option.
“I’ve had an issue with my license I’d say four or five times and it’s something I can’t make an appointment for,” said John Snider who was turned away as a walk-in at the Spring Forest Road office in Raleigh.
The DMV Commissioner says it can take several weeks to several months to hire new staff—so he is working with the general assembly to see if there’s a way they can expedite the hiring process.
Once the DMV adds new hires, they still require five to six weeks of training.