Lawmakers agreed on Wednesday to add nearly 60 positions at the Department of Motor Vehicles to reduce long lines and wait times.
The list includes 54 technicians to man service windows primarily in urban DMV offices where customers have complained they must wait three hours or more to be served. It also includes five supervisors to oversee those technicians.
“There are lines out the door and long waits for service,” said Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas. “We need to get bodies behind the desks.”
The wait times are less severe in Carson City’s DMV office but waits of up to two hours have been reported.
But the joint Ways and Means/Senate Finance subcommittee couldn’t agree on DMV’s request for 16 staff positions above and beyond that total because of the high turnover in those positions — up to 25 percent in certain offices. They argued that would enable them to train replacements even as existing staffers moved on to other jobs.
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, agreed saying the department needed the extra positions “in order to have enough people in the queue to fill vacancies.”
“I think DMV is like no other agency in the state because of the customer service demands,” she said.
But Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, said DMV can’t even fill its regular positions and, until they do that, they don’t need the added 16 posts.
The issue will be taken up again at a Saturday hearing.
The subcommittee also approved a new one-dollar fee per transaction to cover the cost of replacing DMV’s antiquated computer system.
The new system is estimated to cost $109.4 million over the next five years. The computer system would be funded by $37.7 million in Highway Fund money this coming biennium plus the $9.8 million that one-dollar fee would generate.
The subcommittee actions will be taken up by the whole money committees this coming week.