Wait times at Shelby County Clerk’s Office locations vary; big push for customers to go Downtown

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 11:00 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been one week since the Shelby County Clerk’s office shut down their Poplar Plaza location, many customers said they were frustrated the centrally located facility suddenly closed its doors.

Now that the office is closed, Action News 5 wanted to know where the overflow is going and how is it affecting wait times

Brian Morgon spent his entire morning at the Millington Branch of the Shelby County Clerk’s Office.

“I got here at 9:15 this morning and they had number 12 up on the screen so I pulled my number and I had 43,” said Morgon.

Two-and-a-half hours later Morgon was finally able to get his brand new license plate.

“Waiting around is the hard part but I’d rather wait here because you can pick a number and go do something. At these other places you got to stand in line forever there’s no tickets,” said Morgon.

However, it was a completely different story at the Raleigh location on Austin Peay Road.

“I was literally in and out in 5 minutes,” said Raleigh resident Trese Adams.

There was practically no line during the lunch hour, but Adams says that’s pretty typical year-round.

Since the closure of the Poplar Plaza location, customers can now go to six other locations and each one may have different wait times from day to day.

Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert said in an interview Sunday one of the main issues is something she realized as soon as she came into office.

“But what took me by surprise right off the top before, you know, any of the intricacies of the organization—the offices were very old and that threw me because we started at the end of 2018 but I’m looking at old technology. I’m looking at long lines,” said Halbert.

Improved technology could help clerk officials decide where to put extra resources so customers don’t have to wait as long.

For instance, the downtown location on Washington also had fairly short wait times on Wednesday afternoons.

This location also has working kiosks and is fully staffed.

Clerk Halbert is encouraging customers on social media to use the Washington Avenue location.

However, many people like Adams prefer to go and renew their tags in the community where they live.

“I’m thankful to be in this area. I actually started thanking God when I only saw five cars,” said Adams.

When choosing a location to take care of your motor vehicle needs, remember all six remaining locations vary in which type of services they provide.

To put it simply, everything can be done at the downtown location off Washington Avenue.

Also, Clerk Halbert says expect peak wait times at the beginning and end of each month.

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