Process to eliminate long lines at Shelby County Clerk’s Office locations begins

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The new sign-in process to eliminate long customer wait lines at the Shelby County Clerk’s Office began Tuesday morning.

The new system will help to eliminate long wait times for vehicle tags and other services.

Only 15 to 20 customers will wait in line. Others will sign in to receive a call when it is time to be served, Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert announced.

MORE: Shelby County Clerk works to eliminate long customer wait lines with new sign-in system

The No Line / No Waiting process will be similar to the old County Clerk COVID line call-in service, according to a release from the clerk’s office.

Customers will be called in for service through the onsite registration process.

All county clerk employees will rotate working customer lines, the release said.

Employees will work a separate renewal-only line throughout the day.

At the Raleigh office location Tuesday morning, a woman passed out from the heat right as the doors opened.

Another customer shared frustration over long wait times in the sweltering temperatures:

““It’s pretty frustrating with the price of gas and it being hot. If they were just going to take the names, they really can do it when the people come up instead of standing in line for an hour, that’s a waste. I was at the door, I could’ve just stayed.”

Halbert herself worked at the Raleigh location Tuesday morning to help shrink the lines.

LICENSE PLATE BACKLOG: Clerk’s office needs more resources to keep up with demand, Halbert says

At the office at Poplar and Highland, customers told FOX13 they waited in line two to three hours.

“It’s just been a challenge to get what we need to do the job,” Halbert said. “This is not about a blame game, but it is what it is. “We either have the resources or we don’t.”

Halbert said things could and should be better as the days go on adapting to the new process.

“We didn’t even think to give the Governor any ideas or recommendations because who could’ve seen all of this happening,” she said. “Those are some of the challenges, this isn’t something that all of sudden happened because there is disfunction or no organization.”

Customers arriving after the designated time for service will be given a notice: “Due to closeout, if you are not served today, you MAY be given a PRIORITY VOUCHER for next day services.”

Those customers will have to have the voucher with them to be served.

Since May, FOX13 has been reporting on the backlog in license plates in Shelby County. The county commission and the clerk’s office have blamed each other for falling behind.

Commissioners have called it a “leadership and management” problem, pointing the finger at Halbert.

Halbert insists that her office doesn’t have the resources to keep up with demand.