Shelby County Clerk’s Downtown office closes to stay ahead rush during tax season

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:38 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Clerk’s Downtown office will be temporarily closing its Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR) and Title departments in an effort to stay ahead of the temporary rush during tax season, Clerk Wanda Halbert said in a release on Monday.

This is the latest in an ongoing saga with the Clerk’s offices—dating back months.

Now, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris is speaking out. Earlier today Mayor Harris sent Action News 5 this statement:

“The closure of Clerk Wanda Halbert’s Downtown MVR and Title departments was a shock to me as well as Shelby County residents who need those services. Clerk Halbert needs to have all departments open and focus on filling open roles in her offices. Clerk Halbert needs to be held more accountable. I’d like to see her regular reports to the Shelby County Commission begin again. This is a problem that is not going away. More pressure needs to be put on Clerk Halbert to adopt serious reforms.”

Meanwhile, the ones who are most affected by the constant closures—the customers—are speaking out.

“We just need the tag man,” said Malik Maxwell who told Action News 5 he was at the Poplar Avenue Clerk’s Office location for the second day trying to get tags for his daughter.

Maxwell also said he thinks it’s absurd that there aren’t more offices in general, in a county the size of ours.

“We have 700, or 800,000 people here,” Maxwell told Action News 5. “Come on, you gotta come up with a better system.”

One thing that was supposed to create a better system was the opening of a brand-new office on Riverdale Road in Southeast Memphis. However, after multiple failed launch dates the office sits unused.

Marquis Maxwell was at the Clerk’s Office off Poplar Avenue with his father trying to get documents of his own. He said he thinks something is going on with Clerk Halbert.

“I’m not saying she doesn’t have self-accountability, but I see her pointing the finger a lot,” Marquis told Action News 5.

The downtown location will still be serving customers who need marriage licenses and notary services.

Action News 5 reached out to Clerk Wanda Halbert as well as multiple Shelby County Commissioners. At the time of this report, they have not gotten back to us.

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