The wait time for Mississippians renewing their drivers license has tripled over the past two years, according to a new report. MPB's Ashley Norwood has more.
Lee Cheney of Vicksburg says he took off work and came to the Jackson headquarters to get a copy of his driving record. Today he says he was seen pretty quickly. But, any other time he says he's had to wait at least an hour for a service.
"I've stood in the halls for an hour trying to get my license just renewed at the day I needed it done and it's not pleasant. You're going to wait an hour or so... or more," says Cheney.
But why? One factor, according to a report from the Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review or PEER, was the lack of adequate staffing. Vacancy rates for examiner positions increased from 20% in June 2018 to 30% in June 2019.
James Barber is with the Mississippi Legislative PEER Committee. He says a new computer system has also caused issues.
"They launched it back the fall of 2018 and it was a lot different from the previous computer system that the examiners had been using so there was a huge learning curve for those examiners in trying to get used to the requirements of the system," says Barber.
The report states Mississippi should consider options like implementing a home or school-based online testing protocol for youth drivers to lessen customer wait times .
In a statement, Commissioner of Public Safety Marshall Fisher says that the Driver Service Bureau has already taken steps by working to fill vacant positions and implementing appointment scheduling. He said they will also consider recommendations in the report as well. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.