What’s Wrong with the OMV in Louisiana?
If I ever hear complaints about Louisiana state government, more than likely it's about the Office of Motor Vehicles. People can't get through on the phone and they have to wait for hours when they go to the office to get business taken care of.
Many people tell me they wait on hold for hours if they can even get through on the phone. This week, leaders from the OMV were called before the House Transportation Committee to talk about the problems with the agency.
Secretary Karen St. Germain says customer service is a top priority for agency and she wants to make sure her entire staff feels the same way. But there are still issues about what customers are being told when they show up to get anything done. Deputy Secretary Stacy Hoyt says there's money in the budget for 560 employees in the department, but they are at least 62 workers short. She says that is part of the problem. She also says the computer system used by the OMV is very antiquated.
But Hoyt told the committee members "there are only so many phone calls you can answer with the amount of staff that we have." During the pandemic, the agency went to a policy of "appointment only". But that is no longer the case. But that message has apparently not filtered down to some of the local officers. State Representative Dodie Horton says she hears from constituents who say they are told they have to make an appointment. She even says one elderly woman was told "you can come in and wait all day if you want to." Horton urged OMV leaders to get the message out to all of the offices that motorists no longer have to make an appointment.
State lawmakers are trying to find out what the agency needs to make sure it is more effective in handling constituent's issues.