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A Better DMV? Oregon Lawmaker Wants To Study Agency's Service Levels

File photo of an Oregon DMV clerk helping a customer.
OregonDOT
/
Flickr
File photo of an Oregon DMV clerk helping a customer.

An Oregon lawmaker wants the state to improve customer service at the DMV -- in part by offering longer hours with shorter wait times.

Oregon DMV officials say surveys show a high rate of satisfaction among customers. But due in part to staff cutbacks the average wait time has nearly doubled over the past four years. And two years ago the agency stopped opening its doors on Saturdays.

Republican Representative Kevin Cameron says that's the opposite of what they should be doing.

"This is a small area in our state that I'd like us to take a look at and see if we can put a customer service face so that the people of Oregon can say 'yeah, the state's listening to me,'" he says.

Cameron's bill would create a task force to study the feasibility of adding Saturday hours and shortening wait times.

Washington state's DMV says it's cut their wait time dramatically over the past two years. That happened after lawmakers there approved a measure to privatize testing of new drivers.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.