Being 'out of line' is a good thing at the DMV
No one likes to wait an hour or more for the privilege of licensing a car, but in Johnson County you no longer have to do so.
The county is offering a new service that allows taxpayers to reserve their place in line from the Web.
The system, launched last week, will send a text message to users' mobile phones to let them know when they are
close to being called to the Division of Motor Vehicles counter for service, said Amy Meeker-Berg, Johnson County's chief deputy treasurer.
Officials hope the system will ease the pain of waits that can extend to two hours at month's end when renewals are due.
"Even though they're a captive audience, we wanted to give them some freedom", Meeker-Berg said.
And if Johnson County taxpayers show up without a reservation, they can check in, leave their cell phone number and then
leave the office if the wait is longer than 40 minutes. The Mission office got that part of the system in July, and the Olathe
office got it in August.
"I thought it was a great idea", said Paul Jackson, who was able to leave the Mission office in July while he waited.
He used the time to take a walk -- much better than sitting in the DMV office, he said.
The Web system works like this:
- * Users go to the DMV Web site at treasurer.jocogov.org and click on the office they plan to visit under the headline Get In Line at DMV.
- * Once users agree to the terms and pick their language, they can leave a mobile number. They will get a confirmation
document to print. The system will text their phone with the estimated wait time.
- * Users can request status updates by replying with a simple S.
- * Stuck in traffic and can't get back in time? You can text the system to get out of line and then return to the head of the line when ready.
"Wow, that's cool", said Ed Cunningham of Olathe as he waited last week at the Olathe office.
Tim Bouton of Stilwell wished he had known about the online system before he headed to the Olathe office to renew his tags.
"If I'd have known about it, I'd have done it today", Bouton said. "It's like a doctor's appointment. You can plan your day instead of waste your day."
The system has been a nice benefit for DMV workers too, said Jason Ross, who manages the queue system at the Olathe office and works with customers.
"People who have been able to leave come back ready to do their business with a pleasant demeanor.
People are astounded they're able to enter their phone number, leave and get a text relaying when they can return", Ross said.
"They can manage their time as opposed to being a prisoner of the DMV."