Lewis Co. DMV offers walk-up service

The Lewis County Department of Motor Vehicles will move its “take a number” system to outside the building so county residents and workers can safely wait in “line” for walk-up services. The waiting room will be their cars. Julie Abbass/Watertown Daily Times

LOWVILLE — By mid-May, no more appointments will be required for Lewis County residents needing the Department of Motor Vehicles’ services. As of May 17, they will be able to just show up, almost like before, but walk-ins still will not be accepted.

Some things will go “back to normal” with this change made by County Clerk Jake Moser, but capacity limits will mean it’s a normal with some adaptations.

The success of the “take-a-number” model the DMV has been using since its move to its current location has brought the number generator into this new normal.

The ticket system will be stationed outside of the door of the DMV beginning at 8:30 a.m. daily so that people can take a number to “get in line” as soon as they arrive.

“Customers will pull a ticket and are asked to return to their vehicles to wait until their number is called to gain entrance to the building,” Mr. Moser said in the news release on the new process. “No one will be allowed to enter the building unless they have a ticket and their number has been called.”

No one without a mask will be allowed in the building either.

Mr. Moser explained that the move away from the appointment system that’s been in use since DMV offices around the state were allowed to reopen after COVID-19 closures had significant push-back from community members.

He also has seen that the “added burden of the appointment line and limited contact with customers affected the quantity and quality of customer service our county residents have come to expect” from both the DMV and county clerk’s office.

Clerk’s office staff came to the aid of their overwhelmed colleagues at the DMV throughout the past year of pandemic changes by helping to process the many streams allowing the public to use their local DMV offices for services.

The DMV team anticipates “a large number of customers seeking entry to the DMV office” with the new “walk-up” service and suggests that for non-urgent items, people wait for a few weeks.

“I am aware that there will be wait time involved for our customers with same day service. As we move forward, we will continue to make adjustments to the process to enhance the efficiency and experience at our DMV,” he said.

Because of the high demand for services, Mr. Moser said the DMV will only be able to help Lewis County residents and people who work for businesses in the county that provide proof of that employment.

“The temporary suspension of services for surrounding counties is a necessity to ensure Lewis County DMV is servicing those that reside or work in Lewis County, and will allow us to work through the drop box back log the office is currently experiencing,” Mr. Moser said. “Once we get through these busy times, we will open to surrounding areas.”

The appointment phone number — 315-376-9729 — is now only available for the cancellation of existing appointments and the online booking service has been stopped although all appointments that were already made will be honored.

To find out what forms or documents are needed for a transaction and links to the proper forms, go to the DMV site on the Lewis County website, www.lewiscounty.org

Basic transactions can still be done through the office’s drop box.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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