License branches busy following reopening

(Logo provided/Indiana BMV)

INDIANAPOLIS (Network Indiana) – Indiana license branches have resumed normal operations, and have discovered a lot of pent-up demand.

License branches were closed for six weeks during the statewide lock-down, and reopened by appointment only last month. B-M-V Commissioner Peter Lacy says license branches are still using half their normal number of terminals to preserve social distancing. He says that left the wait to get an appointment as long as three weeks at some branches.

Most branches are closed on Mondays, but the 20 which are open nearly doubled their usual workload on the first day of walk-in business. With the other 90 branches joining them on Tuesday, Lacy says there were hour long lines stretching out the door at some branches, with the longest lines in urban areas. He says branches are likely to set a single-day record for transactions.

Along with opening fewer terminals, Lacy says license branches have re-positioned the chairs in the lobby so they’re six feet apart, and has marked off six-foot distances on the sidewalk outside for when the line spills out the door. Employees are sanitizing work stations in between customers.

Lacy says a lot of customers flocking to the branches don’t need to be there. Most B-M-V business can be completed online or at the branches’ 24-hour kiosks. Unless you’re changing the name or address on your license, he’s urging you to consider saving workers — and yourself — some trouble.

You do need to visit a branch on every other license renewal to update your photo — that’s a visit every 12 years. Driving tests won’t resume till next month, and the B-M-V will start with the backlog of people who were waiting for appointments when the shutdown started in March. The bureau doesn’t expect to handle new driving test appointments until the end of July.

Lacy notes Governor Holcomb has extended B-M-V-related deadlines until June 30, so there’s no rush to get to the branch right away. But he says he expects the long lines to continue at least through the Fourth of July.