What TN Is Doing To Reduce Memphis DMV Wait Times

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(Memphis) So far in 2014, DMV wait times in Shelby County are double the average throughout the State of Tennessee.

The average wait time in Tennessee in 2014 has been 23 minutes, in Shelby County the time averages 42 minutes.

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said the following problems have created longer wait times in Shelby County:

  • Training problems
  • Low employee skill levels
  • Management vacancies
  • High turnover rate of 14%
  • People not using online and remote locations for renewals

Seventeen new employees have been hired with eight beginning training Monday, including new managers.

Gibbons admitted there are challenges with employees but they are being addressed.

The current 30 year old system used in the driver centers will be replaced in February 2015.

The longest wait time in the state is often at the Hickory Ridge Driver License Reinstatement Center.

Because many people use their tax return to get their license reinstated, the Hickory Ridge center will be open for five Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting March 22.

People who have had their license revoked or suspended must go to that center to have it reinstated.

As we’ve reported, wait times at that center can be hours long and just last month people who waited in line since 7 a.m. were told to leave and come back the next door which prompted a near riot.

WREG obtained a recent audit by the State of Tennessee Comptroller’s office on the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

It shows wait times are up at the DMV’s on Summer Avenue and in the Hickory Ridge Mall.


  • Marybelle

    DMV–Is the Department of Motor Vehicles?? What has Homeland Security have to do with that? It is hard to get your head wrapped around all the abravations. Is for the the renewal Driver License, For the car Tags, For registration of new vehicles? I just need to know if it is for me. I’m OLD and my license expire in May. This article is poorly written. You say to come back the next door and almost caused a riot…What is next door? Oh Brother–Chaos everywhere-

  • mark

    So basically what i’m reading here is that the workers at the DMV offices have the same work ethic as the folks that are employed in many of the retail shops and fast food joints around the city (i.e. they are doing you a favor by waiting on you). Is that about right?

    • Diane Hess

      the work ethic in this city is the worst I have ever seen after 34 years in retail!! I HATE the attitudes and wish I could fire these ungrateful smart alecks! They are rude, and when (IF) you can find a manager they just give you lip service and tell the employee to let someone else handle ‘her’….Just goes to show this entire city is going to hell in a hand basket…full speed ahead!!

  • becky

    I work for the Hickory Ridge location and I’d honestly say the work ethic and morale is as dull and slow as a turtle is quicksand. Everyone here wants to take the absolute minimal customer to drag the time down to 430 then we pick up the pace to make that time fly by. I’m sick and tired of the lies about getting us some help. I’m doing what I got to do to get paid and since the higher ups don’t care…why so we at the bottom of the totem pole care?

    I started working in various positions for the DMV 17 years ago…beginning about 10 years ago they just stopped caring. Today my manager just looked at those poor people out there and just walked around all day…and she is the prime example of lazy. If the head is going the wrong way so will he tail.

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