Frustration Mounts As Motor Vehicle Annex Closes Early

By: Giang Nguyen Email
By: Giang Nguyen Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Wanamaker Motor Vehicle Annex closed at about 1 p.m. Friday and customers were referred to the Motor Vehicle Office's courthouse location - adding to long lines and frustration there.

Only customers who arrived in the early morning were served at the satellite office on 5938 SW 17th Street. Like many others who showed up here mid-morning, George Moison was turned away once again.

"I've come here to register my vehicle for the third time," Moison said. He had been to both locations Thursday, but lines were too long then. He didn't have any luck today either. "Unfortunately due to tickets being issued already, they're sending people downtown to do the same process."

"Well I'm sure I'm gonna get downtown like yesterday and get a number and not get served," he said.

This time, problem was caused by an unexpected staff vacancy and was not due to the fraught new vehicle registration system that has been causing long delays in recent months.

To customers having to wait or return, it was all the same.

"It just makes me wonder, why we are spending this kind of money to advance our process of registration, when it's doing no good," Moison said, before he and a few other customers headed downtown.

At the Shawnee County courthose on 7th Street, customers who came from the annex told 13 News they were livid they had to pull new numbers to stand in line again. Some left in frustration.

The new system cost $40 million to install, but bugs caused backlogs and frustrated customers to no end.

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan Thursday in a legislative hearing announced that the state will reimburse counties $561,000 to help defray the cost of hiring new employees and paying overtime to work the backlog.

Some counties say that's not enough and are contemplating a new $2 fee.

Shawnee County officials say Friday's issue was short-term--- staff were merged because the courthouse location was down a manager.

"It's just been a series of unfortunate circumstances that there's no control over," Annex manager Linda Lee said. "Hopefully it'll all be cleared up by Monday."

Both offices will be open again on Monday.


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