What's it like conducting business at the Mesa County Department of Motor Vehicles during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Much different than you probably suspect.

My visit to the Mesa County DMV earlier today can be described in one word - Effortless. Seriously, it was the easiest thing I've ever done. The place was like a ghost town.

Normally when you think of visiting the DMV you mind fills with horrifying images of long lines, endless waits, and countless complications. Based on my experience earlier today, you'll encounter none of these. Look at the parking lot. It's almost completely empty.

Mesa County DMV Parking Lot
Waylon Jordan

On Monday I visited the Mesa County Department of Motor Vehicles webpage and scheduled an appointment for 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, August 12. If you haven't used this service before, you would be wise to do so. Scheduling an appointment works like a charm.

Even with an appointment, you still have to check in at the front counter. In years past there always seemed to be a long line line waiting to check it. Until today I had failed to notice it, but if you look just left of the check-in counter, you'll see a sign indicating those with an appointment can skip the line and go straight to the window at the check-in counter. When doing this, the clerk will ask what business you wish to conduct, and then hand you a slip of paper with a number. You then proceed to the waiting area until your number is called.

During today's visit, I didn't even have a chance to sit down. As I walked into the room where you meet with clerks to conduct your business, my number was called immediately.

My visit involved transferring the titles to a couple of utility trailers. One trailer I purchased, the other I inherited. Normally, when one thinks of transferring a title due to an inheritance, mental movies unfold involving tons of paperwork and red tape. Not the case at all. With a singular piece of paperwork showing me as the Personal Representative and an I.D., the matter was taken care of in an instant.

Start to finish, my entire visit including check-in, transferring two titles, getting new plates and tags, and paying the bill, was completed is under 13 minutes. It's my opinion the rapid rate of today's business was due to a couple of factors:

  • I had an appointment
  • It appears as if people are putting off doing business at the DMV during the pandemic

Check out the photo at top and you'll see the Mesa County DMV's main office is taken measures to observe social distancing regulations. One challenge you'll encounter involves the plexiglass "shields" between you and the DMV clerks. In addition to making it difficult to sign documents, it creates an effective "sound barrier" between you and the agent. It's difficult, almost impossible to hear what anyone is saying. Do you remember the T.V. show "Get Smart"? Do you remember the "Cones of Silence"?

That's a fairly accurate representation. Between the plexiglass and the face masks, conveying information verbally is challenging at best.

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The main branch of the Mesa County DMV at is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first hour of each day, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., is reserved for "vulnerable" individuals. The last ticket will be issued each day at 5 p.m.

As easy as it is to utilize the Mesa County DMV during the pandemic, don't forget many services are available online. You can skip the trip entirely. Don't forget about the kiosk in the lobby, offering several services. Some services are available via mail. The DMV also recommends scheduling appointments, and when possible, schedule them mid-week, mid-month, and during the earlier hours.

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