CALDWELL – Wait times at the Canyon County DMV can at times be pretty long, and the manager out there expects things to only get worse.
Typical wait times used to be 30 minutes to an hour, but with more people coming in and getting a concealed weapons permit, the wait times can double. Now, the sheriff's office is looking to make some changes to drop those wait times.
When we went in to the Canyon County DMV Tuesday afternoon the lines were relatively short.
"I've probably been here maybe 10 (minutes), so it's not bad," said Richard Kimley who is renewing his concealed weapons permit.
But during peak times the lines can get pretty long, forcing the staff to switch things around.
"We've changed our lunch schedules, we've changed hour of operation, just to accommodate the public so we have shorter wait times," said Debbie McRae, manager of the Canyon County DMV.
But that isn't working as well as many would like.
"We can get up to an hour-and-a-half to two-hour waits on concealed weapons. I have to pull staff from issuing driver's license to accommodate our concealed weapons applications," said McRae.
She would like to keep wait times under an hour, preferably 30 minutes. But looking at the numbers, keeping wait times short just isn't possible.
2011: 799 874
2012: 1,198 1,321
2013: 1,030 631
Source: Canyon County Sheriff's Office
We're just four months in to 2013 and more people have applied for a concealed weapons permit than in 2011 and nearly as much as 2012.
"We've been trying to work hard to keep up with that," said Chief Deputy Marv Dashiell.
He says they're looking at making some changes.
"One of the options we've looked at is possibly limiting when we're going to be offering the concealed weapons applications," said Dashiell.
Each person looking to get a concealed weapons permit is required to make two visits. The first visit can take up to an half hour, while the second visit averages about 15 minutes.
"If I had my wish, I would recommend only process those on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. That would leave Mondays and Fridays open to accommodate our busy days with driver's licenses," said McRae.
Right now, the sheriff's office is just talking about making changes and hasn't made any decision just yet. But since the numbers don't appear to be dropping off anytime soon, the hope is to make a change sooner rather than later. When they do, we'll make sure everyone knows.
There’s something else coming down the line that will likely increase wait times at the DMV; it’s Idaho's new enhanced concealed weapons permit. The new permit requires an applicant to have experience firing a weapon.
That permit would be recognized by more states than Idaho's current concealed weapons permit.
When that new permit goes into law on July 1st, the DMV anticipates a lot of Idahoans will want to upgrade, creating the potential for even longer wait lines.