Beginning Tuesday, almost a dozen Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices throughout the state will be closed until Oct. 2 due to staffing shortages.
The affected offices are located in Alexandria, Danville, Evansville, Indianapolis (Madison Avenue), Greenfield, Nappanee, New Albany, New Haven, Pendleton, Schererville and Walkerton.
Staff at those offices are being reassigned because the agency has had trouble filling 60 to 80 positions. Adding to that, anywhere between 10 to 15 percent of the workforce is consistently out due to COVID-19 precautions.
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Chief Operating Officer Kevin Garvey said the BMV had to decide between temporarily closing a few offices and keeping wait times down, or keep all the offices open, but make Hoosiers wait through long lines.
“I would rather make these small, temporary closures ... than to continue to stretch that rubber band and potentially negatively impact more Hoosiers,” he said.
Garvey said the agency has to compete for workers as many employers have started to raise their wages. He argued that despite having a starting wage at around $13.50 an hour, the state may offer benefits – like health care and pensions – that similar employers don’t.