LIMA — Like a well-oiled machine, the lines at the Harding Highway Bureau of Motor Vehicles were moving along as the staff took care of people getting new driver’s licenses or renewing registrations.
The lines weren’t long Tuesday afternoon, but that won’t always be the case — and when that’s a problem people can turn to the BMV’s website to save their place in line.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted was in Lima Tuesday to announce the expansion of the “Get In Line, Online” system to Allen, Van Wert and Paulding counties.
A pilot program was launched in June of last year in 13 counties, which included the BMV in Auglaize County.
“You might want to go to the BMV on a Saturday morning, but you have no idea whether you’re going to be there for 10 minutes or an hour,” Husted said. “This will let you know so you can plan your day better and work around it so that if you planned on going to the grocery store, filling up with gas and getting your driver’s license renewed, you’ll know whether you have time to go get the gas and go to the grocery store while you’re moving through the line or whether or not you can go pop into the BMV.”
People can access the website by going to BMV.Ohio.gov and the website will tell you the nearest location.
“It’ll tell you what the wait time is and we’ll send you a text message to your phone. You simply put that in the kiosk when you walk in the door and you’re queued in to be the next person in line. It has been an overwhelming success so far and we think it will be as we roll this out to all 186 locations across the state,” said Husted.
State officials calculate that the average time savings is about 15 minutes per customer.
“As the Lieutenant Governor mentioned, so far, it’s been a huge time saver. I think cumulatively just in this limited run statewide, we’ve saved over 7,000 hours of wait time. So that’s a big deal for Ohioans and something everyone can take advantage of,” said Charles Norman, registrar of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Cuyahoga County is one of the pilot counties that’s used this over the past few months.
“What happens in that first contact when they contact the Get in Line program is they’re getting information for the very first time that typically would have been provided once they arrived at the agency or through various searches,” said David Lasky, deputy registrar for Cuyahoga County. “It gives us an opportunity to get the motoring public the right information when they come to visit our agencies, and having the right information alleviates failed attempts to get what they need.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.