Good Question: Why are DMV appointments still lagging behind?

Brennan Somers
Updated: March 29, 2021 10:04 AM
Created: March 29, 2021 06:42 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— Every week, News10NBC's Brennan Somers hears from you asking this question: Why isn't the Monroe County DMV open?

It is and has been, just not near 100 percent.

We know there are some things you still have to go to a branch to do in person, but those appointments aren't easy to find. That's the main issue.

Check out what's going on with one woman who reached out to Somers.

"I bought a used car from a private sale," Heidi Mittiga, from Irondequoit said. "if you buy it from a dealer, the dealer gives you the plates and the registration sticker, but a private sale doesn't and you have to go to the DMV."

Mittiga got the car in mid-March but couldn't book an appointment until more than a month after she got the car.

It's set for late April.

"We have three people I have to shuttle back and forth to work," Mittiga added. "They have odd hours and different places of employment, the other issue I was afraid to have an unlicensed unregistered vehicle in my driveway."

Of course, driving around looking for cars with missing tags or registrations isn't the most pressing issue for police. Mittiga is probably fine waiting until her appointment, but it's still a hassle.

Somers reached out to Monroe County Clerk Jamie Romeo, she runs our local DMV branches. She told him they are still trying to balance how many daily in-person appointments they can serve,  while not overcrowding locations.

There is an option to register vehicles online, however, it's only for state-run DMV sites.

Those are located in just a few counties downstate, the Syracuse area, and Albany. Those appointments also have residency requirements.

The online registration option is part of a pilot program the governor launched last fall. The goal is to expand it to everyone, which hasn't happened. A state DMV spokesperson told Somers it won't be finalized until later this year.

The Monroe County DMV has been expanding capacity, and appointments are slowly picking up. So, what used to be a 3-month wait is now 4-5 weeks.

There is an option to mail in a registration by going through the NYS DMV. You can learn more here. 

County clerks remind you If you make a transaction locally, 12.7% of what’s collected stays in the county. If you got through the NYS DMV, 100% goes to the state.
 

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