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Madras, Prineville DMVs Struggle Under Staffing Shortage

MADRAS, OR -- Oregon’s DMV has been hard hit by a lack of workers, leading to long lines in urban offices and closures in some smaller towns, including Madras and Prineville. ODOT's David House says the DMV is recovered from pandemic slow-downs but now faces another setback in its effor to return to normal operations, "The good news is, the backlog is almost gone. But now we have this staffing shortage. So, we remain very busy."

House says 20% of the positions at DMV field offices remain unfilled, statewide. "We haven’t been able to keep up with just the regular retirements or people moving on to another job; and this is hitting all our offices," he tells KBND News, "Especially the offices that have just one or two staff members, it only takes one illness to shut that office down for a day."

Prineville's DMV was closed Tuesday and Madras shut down for the day on Wednesday, "Madras and Prineville, I think those have two employees each," says House. "And then, when we have short-staffing in nearby offices too, we can’t send relief. And that’s what we would normally do. Bend is down several people, for example, so we can’t send relief from Bend; and that’s a very busy office."

Coquille’s DMV, on the southern Oregon coast, has been closed the last two days, and House says the situation is most dire in Medford - a larger office that has less than 50% of its needed staffing. 

House says many transactions can be completed on the DMV2U website. He suggests checking there to see if your request can be completed without waiting in long lines at an office. 

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