LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Well before sunrise and the opening of the West Flamingo Department of Motor Vehicles, hundreds of people began lining up for the Saturday walk-in service.
The scene has happened every weekend since the coronavirus limited Saturday to the only day people could enter the DMV in Las Vegas without an appointment.
Debbie Klewer, a Kansas City native new to Nevada, came to the DMV early Saturday with her husband and spent most of the morning sharing a live video of the growth of the line, snaking its way back and forth for nearly a quarter-mile from the front door.
"We got here at 4:30, but I’m up there," she said. "Probably like the first 50."
"[The line is] going out to the street," she added. "I think this is crazy. I think they should have been able to come up with a plan B.”
Curtis Welling got to the offices about 30 minutes after Klewer and ended up in line roughly 100 yards behind her.
"This has developed quickly,” he said.
Welling said his wait was made worse because he had to do the same thing just two weeks earlier, and all appointments have been booked out for months.
"I got pulled over and they told me I had a complication with my license," he said. "I’m just a little frustrated because I should be home with my kids this morning. It’s my one day off work.”
DMV Spokesperson Kevin Malone said the offices have extended their hours to fit more appointments on weekdays and expanded the number of services people can complete online.
He said on Saturdays, the DMV locations in Southern Nevada have reached capacity and can help 2,500 on average.
“The COVID pandemic is very much with us and the DMV is still operating at 50% capacity," Malone said.
“In the short term, there isn’t much more that we can do.”
Malone said the long-term plan is to add new services like getting a new license to the website, but those plans won't be complete for months.
His best advice for people is to ensure they're doing their homework before coming to the DMV to avoid missing paperwork, and if anyone has an appointment they can't keep, he urges them to cancel it to make room for other people.