MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — When the Madison County Service Center opened in March 2021, it was hailed as a one-stop shop for residents getting errands done, and taking pressure off other locations. But some 20 months later, the same officials who praised it have pointed out some kinks.
“You’ve got taxes being paid. You’ve got commercial vehicles and tractor-trailer trucks that are being tagged. You’ve got vehicles there getting their license tags, and people are stuck there longer than they should,” Commissioner Phil Vandiver said during Wednesday’s Madison County Commission meeting.
Vandiver and fellow commissioner Steve Haraway spent the commissioners’ comments portion airing their own frustrations about the wait times when getting county services.
“Our office has been overwhelmed the last month and a half to two months also,” Haraway said of the DMV center in Madison. “Every morning we’ve got a line all the way around the building down the side seems like. And we’ve had bigger crowds than we’ve had in a long time.”
News 19 spoke to several people on Thursday and some said they have dealt with wait times of over an hour.
“This is my first time coming to the new service center. Obviously, everything else being at the DMV on Church Street or on South Memorial Parkway is extremely inconvenient,” one who didn’t want their full name published said. “Doesn’t matter how early you get there, you’re gonna be there quite some time.”
For the service center on North Memorial Parkway and Oakwood Avenue, Vandiver said wait time didn’t exceed 20 minutes in 2021.
“And we felt like that was excellent,” Vandiver said. “(But) if an hour is becoming normal, we need to do something different whether that’s going to be more people, whether that’s going to be bringing in or at different times making sure more windows are covered, I don’t know, that’s not really what I do. But we really need to work with that leadership there to figure out what we can do to make that situation better.”
For some, the current format is working quickly – as long as you show up early.
“I like the system they have. It’s simplified,” Madison County resident Leon Thomas said. “It’s just when you come in the afternoon everybody’s coming at the same time. It just takes a little longer. But in the morning, (just) five minutes.”
If you want to avoid the line altogether, many of the services can also be done via mail or online, according to Vandiver. You can visit their website to see what services are available.