Wanda Halbert predicts long lines at Shelby County Clerk locations until January 2023

Wanda Halbert predicts long lines at Shelby County Clerk locations until January 2023
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:50 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Long lines at the Shelby County Clerk’s office are likely to be in place until the end of January 2023, but plans are being put in place to hopefully keep it from happening again.

“When you come downtown, and you see customers sitting on floors and on stairs, that’s just totally inappropriate,” said Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert.

Shelby County Clerk office woes continue for clerk Wanda Halbert with frustrated customers in long lines and staff woefully underpaid.

“When I tell you these salaries, I am stunned. I mean to be making 33,000 dollars, and you’re here 20 or 25 years,” said Halbert.

Wednesday, Shelby County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution out of committee that requests proposals for reducing long lines, fully automating the county clerk’s locations, and a job study to hire needed staff.

The clerk’s office currently has 22 open positions, and Halbert says she will need to hire more when they open the new location on Riverdale at the end of the month.

Although the resolution does not come with a fiscal note, the resolution does ask Mayor Lee Harris’ office to assist the clerk’s office with documents and budget requests.

“I’m just glad that they were bold enough to put it on the table, ask the tough questions, and we’re here to get the work done,” said Halbert.

Halbert says the clerk’s office has always had long lines that pre-dated her administration, but with 2.5 million customers all needing the new license plates at one time is causing the backup.

Halbert encourages customers who are getting standard plates to order online.

Halbert says delivery is faster than state estimates, customers are receiving the standard plates at about 7 to 10 days in the mail.

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