PEER report identifies wait time at driver's license offices
A report from the Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) shows that wait times to get drivers’ licenses or ID cards renewed in Mississippi on average tripled from 2017 to 2010.
The report states “While no single factor is overwhelmingly significant, when taken together, all contribute to increased times customers must wait.”
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) Driver Service Bureau suffers from inefficiencies driven by staffing shortages, changes in the technological and legal environment, and issues with kiosk services resulting in increased wait times for customers.
Although DPS is filling examiner vacancies and improving the functionality of kiosks in order to lessen wait times at field offices, PEER recommends promoting online and kiosk services, improving the website, expanding appointments, utilizing management information from its new computer system to more efficiently allocate resources, exploring youth testing and licensing alternatives, and partnering with counties.
According to the PEER report, DPS is having troubles in keeping employees. Open positions went from 20% in June 2018 to 30% in June 2019. A new computer system, put in place to meet federal mandates like the Real ID Act and changes to commercial drivers’ license requirements, has also caused issues.
There are two examiners at the Picayune office with plans to increase that number to 4 examiners according to the report.
Processing times have increased by 40% to 50% for routine task such as ID card and CDL renewals. The new system also “lessens examiners’ flexibility in processing transactions,” and the training to operate the new system and changing documentation requirements have challenged examiners.
Issues with kiosk services, as well as outdated website information and forms that prevent customers from being ready to receive services at the bureau’s field offices, also caused problems, according to the PEER report.
To view the PEER report, click the link: