WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

DMV offices want help from state with rush of Real ID applications

Jan 9, 2019
Originally published on January 3, 2019 4:25 pm

County clerks' offices around New York are calling for a higher reimbursement rate from the state to cover increased costs associated with processing Real ID applications at county-run DMV offices.

A Real ID or a passport will be needed if someone wants to travel domestically by air, starting in October 2020.

Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello says they’ve processed around 20-thousand applications in just the past few months, and this is causing longer wait-times at DMV offices.

He says he’d like to see the local office retain more than the current 12.7 percent of the fees collected.

"What we’re asking for is not an increase in the fee, because I do not think that would be fair, but we’re asking that the counties who are doing the work be able to retain a larger portion of what’s being paid so we can invest that into additional staff and be able to manage the increase in workload,” he said.

Bello says they’ve done some creative things to add additional staff, but retaining a larger share of the fees collected would provide the best customer service at county-run DMVs.

"If we could retain just a slightly larger portion of that share, we’d be able to invest that in staff, make those lines as short as possible,” he said.

Any increase in the reimbursement rate would need legislative approval in Albany.

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