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DMV tries combating online sale of hard-to-get appointments

With many Nevada residents still having issues getting an appointment with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles in Las Vegas, some enterprising folks are taking advantage of the situation and selling time slots already pre-booked.

Multiple websites offer the ability to buy a DMV appointment as soon as the same day. One website lists appointments that are available free of charge with bids starting at $15. The website had appointments available every day, including Christmas Day when the DMV was closed, so it remains to be seen how valid the website is.

The issue of groups booking appointments and then selling them has exacerbated the problem many people face of nailing down an appointment within a reasonable time frame, according to DMV Director Julie Butler.

“We are doing our best to monitor that and make sure that doesn’t happen because it takes away appointments from everybody else that patiently waits,” Butler told the Review-Journal in December.

Butler said the DMV has been working since the summer to address the issue of appointments for sale online. “We have come up with some ways internally to combat that,” she said.

Butler declined to talk further about those measures, saying that could help those looking to get around the mitigation measures.

Some people who bought appointment times online have been turned away at DMV doors since their names didn’t match the ones on the appointment.

At the height of the pandemic when the DMV shut down for several weeks and then reopened to a backlog of transactions, some residents weren’t able to book appointments that were less than three months out. Because of that, some people were camping out overnight at DMV offices, and lines were seen stretching through the parking lots onto sidewalks of nearby roads.

That has since changed with the average wait time for an appointment now being 45 to 60 days.

Another issue impacting motorists’ ability to set an appointment is no-shows — people who make appointments and then don’t show up. Those no-shows tied up spots that otherwise could open up same-day appointments in some cases.

“We do continue to encourage our customers that if they cannot keep their appointments to go back into the system and cancel it,” Butler said.

Butler also recommended motorists check the DMV’s website each day as some same-day appointments do become available because of cancellations.

The department is in the midst of a four-year plan to move the majority of its services online, which it hopes will make the appointment issues a thing of the past.

The efforts are already having a positive impact on business operations. Since making all 35 charitable license plates available for purchase online, almost 7,000 residents with dealer-purchased vehicles have bought specialty license plates without having to make an in-person visit.

“Hopefully the need to have an appointment will decrease, as more services can be completed online,” Butler said.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send questions and comments to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com.

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