While complaints about long lines at the DMV may never come to an end, the state Department of Transportation says things are improving.
But despite what they say is an improvement in wait times, transportation officials still want to make more changes to make drivers wait even less.
The average wait for a driver license and ID card is about 37 minutes in New Castle. The average wait is 20 minutes or less in Dover, Georgetown and greater Wilmington. The current wait for a vehicle titling and registration is eight minutes except at the greater Wilmington DMV, where the wait time is about 12 minutes on average.
DMV Director Jennifer Cohan says, “Customer service is our number one priority, so we’ve been measuring our efforts and looking for creative and effective ways to keep improving.” As part of an effort to improve, she says, “We are proposing two new policy changes that will respect the division’s safety and security missions, while improving overall operations.”
Those policy changes include extending the length of time a driver license is valid from five years to eight years. DMV officials expect a reduction in customers by about 48,000 every year. Legislation making that law is expected to be introduced sometime in March.
Another step designed to reduce wait times is a change in the way registrations expire. Currently, vehicle registrations expire on either the 15th or the last day of the month. Starting May 4, those expiration dates will be set for any day of the month. DMV leaders expect the change to result in a “significant reduction in wait times.”
The state has also posted new tools on its website to make it easier for Delaware drivers to determine whether it is a good time to go to the DMV. Drivers can now go to dmv.de.gov to see live video of how long or short the lines are at any DMV facility in the state.