Alert “06880” reader Sal Gilbertie had time — p-l-e-n-t-y of time — to write to “06880” today. At 1:02 p.m., he sent this report:
I have been at the Norwalk DMV for about 2 hours now. If the current speed of customer flow is maintained, I’m guessing I have another 2 hours before my business will be complete.
Just snapped this picture, which represents some of the problem. I am directly in front of service windows 1-6, of 22 total service windows. Window 1 on the right did not fit into the picture, and window 6 on the left is obscured by the pole. Trust me: All are empty.
To be fair, this was taken at 12:31 p.m., quite possibly the tail end of some sort of lunch break (unannounced, if it occurred at all). However, at no time since I have been here have more than 11 of the 22 windows been staffed with DMV personnel at any time.
Everyone in the entire place is very friendly, pleasant and patient (staff and customers).
But everyone (all of the staff and customers with whom I have spoken) agrees that the place is clearly understaffed.
The general consensus is that DMV is a “pay-for-play” kind of place. The 2 questions most people seem to ask are:
- “Why doesn’t DMV raise its fees so it can hire more people?”
- “When the DMV does make changes, why don’t they adequately plan for an ever-increasing level of service requirements, since there will never be fewer people or fewer cars?”
Lots of people are wasting lots of time here. Kind of takes some of the mystery out of why productivity and the economy are growing so slowly, doesn’t it?
How hard can this be to fix?
POSTSCRIPT: Sal emailed again, at 1:39 p.m.:
I just finished. My business was completed efficiently and pleasantly, albeit with plenty of time lost.
SPECIAL “0688o” PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: AAA offers many DMV services — including driver’s license renewals. They’re no longer in Westport — but there are offices just over the Norwalk line, and in Fairfield. Click here for details.