Frustration still high over long wait times at driver license bureaus

Wednesdays are the busiest days, with some people spending hours waiting in their vehicles to be seen.

Frustration still high over long wait times at driver license bureaus

HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s a narrative that just won’t go away.

Nearly two months after DMVs opened back up after being shuttered because of COVID-19, frustrations are still high over wait times.

“For the second week, I’ve been standing in line at 6 in the morning and the lines just get longer and longer,” said Jim Lewis of Pass Christian.

Added Ocean Springs resident John Conley, “Everybody builds up and they wait and they wait and they wait.”

Wednesday may be hump day but it’s also crunch day for the DMV. That’s because there’s so much going on including renewals, firearm permits and special hours for senior citizens. And people have been waiting for hours in their cars. Some only to leave in frustration.

“I mean 90 percent of the people here have taken days off and they’re not going to get anywhere close in getting in,” Lewis added. “It’s getting pretty frustrating for a lot of people.”

This is Christine Davis’s second time here as well. This time, she came prepared with a chair.

“I knew I was going to have to wait for a long time, because last time, when I was driving here, I saw all these cars I said, ‘Oh, no. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this.’ I’m just going to have to wait. I know I need my ID. It’s been years.”

The number of people in the building is limited. So people either wait outside, or they sit in their cars waiting for a call in a jammed-packed parking lot.

Conley has no choice but to stand near the door. He doesn't have a phone.

“So, I got to keep my eyes open because if they ever call my name, there’s no way for them to contact me,” he said.

He has also been there at least twice without success.

“Well, they only do it one day a week,” he said. “And for seniors, it’s only between 8 and 10 in the morning. And when you get here, the line is all the way out to the highway practically.”

Lewis is waiting to renew his conceal and carry permit.

“There’s only one person processing the permits so, that kind of backlogs and bottle jams everything.”

Public Safety Commission officials tell WLOX that they are still trying to catch up after being closed for 10 weeks because of COVID and that issues like the ones on the Coast exist throughout the state. But they are now working on streamlining the process in hopes of making Wednesdays a little easier.

MHP has also recommended that people in need of services at the DMV should consider going in the afternoon instead of early in the morning, explaining that the long line of people outside before the bureau opens causes a backlog.

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