Getting a brand new Colorado driver’s license may take months after COVID closures trigger appointment backlog

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Spring closures of the state’s Division of Motor Automobile workplaces proceed to imply lengthy waits for appointments within the Denver metro space, inconveniencing individuals who want new licenses and leaving many new Coloradans involved about their means to vote.
Due to the coronavirus, the state’s DMV places closed to in-person providers for six to eight weeks starting March 18, making a backlog that the workplaces haven’t been capable of fully erase.
The biggest backlog in appointments has been for teenagers who’re making an attempt to get their driving permits or licenses and new residents who’re making use of for Colorado licenses, mentioned DMV spokesperson Julie Brooks.
That has nervous some in search of to register to vote in November.
“I didn’t wish to be delayed, and I wished to verify my vote counted when it wanted to rely on time,” mentioned Melissa Shotts, a Denver resident who moved to the state in June.
She tried to get right into a DMV for a brand new license however needed to look forward to an accessible appointment for practically two months. Like many new residents, she didn’t know you may register to vote with out an in-state license, and she or he doesn’t really feel like the opposite choices had been made clear.
Though Coloradans can robotically register to vote on the DMV when getting a state ID, different registration choices can be found and different types of ID are accepted. As an illustration, new Colorado voters can register to vote by mail and submit copies of different identification paperwork. The state additionally gives same-day voter registration for anybody who needs to vote in individual. Go to govotecolorado.com for extra data.
The Denver Put up heard from a number of individuals who reported issues with lengthy appointment wait occasions, together with one individual whose out-of-state license expired earlier than the following accessible appointment. Travis Golden mentioned he has been calling the DMV, however the automated system retains hanging up on him. The closest appointment he may discover was greater than an hour away in Colorado Springs, and it was nonetheless after his license was set to run out.
Ada Worcester needed to schedule an appointment a number of months out for a license renewal due to a reputation change. She’s trans, and her outdated license doesn’t appear like her anymore. She virtually drove from her Denver house to Grand Junction for an accessible appointment earlier than that one was snatched up, too. A citizen advocate was ultimately capable of assist her get in.
“Having the ability to get your license up to date or have a license is a extremely, actually important service, and these delays have severe impacts on individuals’s lives and even livelihood,” she mentioned.
On a mean month, the state’s DMV workplaces get between 60,000 and 80,000 appointments, Brooks mentioned, so a six-week closure made an impression. In February, the workplaces had 82,272 in-person appointments and 24,868 on-line providers used. In June, the primary full month of reopening, they noticed 68,306 in workplace and 53,746 on-line.
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As social distancing tips stay in place, some workplaces have applied prolonged hours in an unsuccessful effort to fulfill the elevated demand. Brooks encourages individuals to test again recurrently for availability. She estimates the workplaces obtain greater than 100 cancellations per day.
She additionally urges residents who have to renew licenses, change their tackle or renew car registration to make use of the net possibility to save lots of slots for many who must go in individual. About half of the renewal appointments coming in are individuals who may have renewed on-line, she mentioned.
To test appointments or discover out if a service is obtainable on-line, go to mydmv.colorado.gov.

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