Here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com on how horrendous wait times at the only driver’s license office in Kootenai County have prompted the county and state to move to open a second location later this year. “The wait times are often three hours,” said Alan Frew, state motor vehicle administrator for the Idaho Transportation Department. “They have people lining up about an hour before they open. It’s probably the longest wait time in the state.”
Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger has been urging the county commissioners to open a second location for several years. “I applaud them for moving forward with that,” Frew said.
Wolfinger said he was gratified when county commissioners in August granted his budget request. He’d asked for four more staffers for the driver’s license office; they granted two. With that, he said, “We can’t open both offices five days a week. But we’ll open four days a week, 10 hours a day.”
The new office will be on Railroad Avenue in Post Falls, the current location of a vehicle registration office. That office will move to the former Odd Fellows building nearby that the county recently acquired and is remodeling. Wolfinger said plans still are being finalized, but they tentatively call for the Coeur d’Alene office, at the main county office complex on Government Way, to be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the new Post Falls location to be open Tuesday through Friday, with the same hours.
Kootenai County Commissioner Chris Filios said, “I think it’s desperately needed. … I wish we could have done it sooner.”
The budget request for next year for the Idaho Transportation Department includes $20,900 for equipment, supplies and connectivity for a second driver’s license office in Kootenai County; the county is responsible for the remaining costs, including staffing. The ITD budget request was presented to lawmakers this morning; they’ll vote on it in the coming weeks.