Wait times grow as staff shrinks at OMV offices

Heading to a state motor vehicles office to get your drivers’ license? A legislative report suggests you might want to bring a book and expect a wait.

The Legislative Fiscal Office says wait times at locations for the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles have shot up as Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration slashed staffing levels amid continuing state budget cuts.

The legislative financial analysis says as OMV staff dropped 23 percent, wait times grew from as little as 8 minutes in 2009 to more than an hour by 2013.

State Police Col. Mike Edmonson, who oversees Louisiana’s motor vehicle offices, says OMV shifts staff to offices experiencing high wait times. And he says the agency is expanding a program using outside contractors to handle drivers’ license renewals to reduce wait times.