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Driver authorization card demand swamps all DMVs

People wait in lines Saturday at the Department of Motor Vehicles office at American Pacific & Stephanie in Henderson. It was the least-busy of the valley's DMV offices, but was still standing-room-only. (Melvin Jones)
People wait in lines Saturday at the Department of Motor Vehicles office at American Pacific & Stephanie in Henderson. It was the least-busy of the valley's DMV offices, but was still standing-room-only. (Melvin Jones)
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Updated: 1/04 4:35 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- All Department of Motor Vehicle offices in Las Vegas were at standing-room-only status today as people line up to apply for drivers authorization cards.

"Most of our offices had about 300 people in line when the doors opened this morning so that is an instant traffic jam right there," DMV spokesman Kevin Malone told News 3. "It;s been the same all day long. The offices are just packed. The Sahara and Decatur offices have reached the capacity of the building so we have to wait for people to leave before we let more people walk in." DMV spokesman Kevin Malone told News 3.

Malone was at his office in Henderson at American Pacific at Stephanie and said it was the busiest he had ever seen it even although it was the least busy of the Las Vegas area offices.

Malone had some advice for those taking the test for a drivers authorization card.

"We'd much rather see people come in prepared than just come it to see if they will pass or not," he said. "You need to study the handbook, make sure you have all the documentation and then come on in."

Malone said the test is 50 questions and an applicant must get at least 80 percent to pass.

The drivers authorization cards allow illegal immigrants to drive once they pass the test. They cannot be used for identification. The Legislature approved the cards when it met in 2013.

It is expected that about 60,000 people will apply for the cards.

Malone stressed that there was no rush for people to get the cards during the first days they are offered. They became available starting Thursday.

"There is no rush to come in here. We're going to be here," he said. "The driver authorization program is not going away so the advice is to get prepared to pass the test."

Malone said a computer upgrade performed overnight Friday was successful and all DMV systems -- web, kiosks and office computers -- were working normally on Saturday.

He said people using the DMV offices for car registrations are in a different line and likely won't be affected by the long lines once they get in the building. He encouraged residents to use kiosks or online services whenever possible to do a transaction.

DMV offices are closed on Sunday and are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Malone said he was unsure of how heavy the demand will be at offices when they open again on Monday.

"We weren't expecting these kind of crowds and what happens next week is going to be anyone's guess," he said.
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