Shelby County Clerk’s Office closes for another week due to backlog

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Clerk’s Office is closed for another week to catch up on the ongoing license plate backlog. The offices will reopen Sept. 26.

Monday morning, customers who did not know about the closure were lined up outside the Poplar Plaza location.

MORE: Shelby County Clerk’s Office to close for two separate weeks to catch up on backlog

One woman, Tiffany Davis, said, “I’m supposed to be at work right now, and I’m just now hearing about them being closed.”

People in line expressed disappointment, anger, and frustration after being told the office was closed for the week.

One man said, “I’m frustrated and mad because we’ve been constantly coming up here every week. We came up here Friday and it was open. We come up here Monday and it’s closed. There’s nothing on the website.”

Drivers who showed up to renew their tags were met with locked doors and a sign letting them know the office was closed.

Many complained about the long lines that wrap around the building when the office is open.

“The lines reach all the way around to Kroger just about,” Davis said.

Drivers who were desperate to renew their tags said they’re concerned about the possible consequences of the week-long delay.

One woman said she has two small children and worries about being pulled over my police in traffic.

The offices previously closed Aug. 22-26 so employees could work on the backlog.

The Friday before that closure, dozens of people waiting in line at the Mullins Station location were turned away before the office was scheduled to close.

Last Friday, the same thing happened to many people who were waiting in line to renew their tags.

One woman said she had taken off work to get her tags, but the office closed an hour early.

“I pay my taxes just like everybody else,” she said. “It shouldn’t be this difficult.”

Wait times can take hours and up to half a day in line for some customers.

MORE: Déjà vu? Shelby County Clerk’s Office again turns away taxpayers ahead of weeklong closure

FOX13 reached out to County Clerk Wanda Halbert Friday evening to ask why the office closed early again, but we have not heard back.

Halbert came under fire during the last Clerk’s Office closure after taking a trip to Jamaica.

A week before, she had written that they planned to have “all hands on deck” for the weeklong closure to catch up on the backlog.

Halbert rebuked criticism of her trip after returning, saying she was working the entire week.

Customers can still use online and mail-in renewals, according to a release from the Clerk’s Office.

Customers with marriage license applications will be accepted at the downtown location.

Halbert said during the closure in August, staff completed around 6,800 auto dealer and other transactions.

Customers who have outstanding plates they believe were not received due to mail delivery can email the Clerk’s Office at Motor.Vehicle@shelbycountytn.gov or ShelbyCountyClerk@shelbycountytn.gov.