Traffic jam

New rules lengthen lines at vehicles office

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— A trip to the Routt County Motor Vehicles Office could now be more than just a lunch-break errand.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said increased regulations regarding paperwork and security are creating long lines at the office in the Routt County Courthouse on Lincoln Avenue.

"People should expect a longer wait in the Motor Vehicles Office," Weinland said this week. "Come prepared with a valid identification, insurance information, the proper paperwork and your patience."

Weinland said the state Department of Revenue is re-interpreting an existing state statute and tightening identification policies, possibly as a response to immigration laws in Colorado.

The state Legislature convened for a five-day special session in July to address the state's immigration laws. The primary bill to result from the session, HB 1023, requires people 18 and older to show valid proof of residency, such as a driver's license or state-issued identification card, when applying for public services or benefits in Colorado.

Weinland said valid identification is now required for all transactions at the Motor Vehicles Office, meaning people no longer can register a vehicle in someone else's name - not even for a spouse or relative.

Applications for items such as handicap placards, title transfers and temporary driver's licenses also must be made directly by the applicant, said Weinland, who thinks the regulations are excessive.

"All this does is harass our legal residents," she said. "It doesn't have anything to do with curbing (illegal) immigration. It's very difficult for our customers."

As an example, Weinland said the owner of a local business recently sent his business manager to the office to get new registration stickers for license plates on a company vehicle. Because the license plates were in the business owner's name, the manager could not complete the transaction.

"We've always been able to help people (in similar situations) out," Weinland said. "Now we can't. I strongly believe this is a misinterpretation of an existing statute."

Even if your transaction is simple, Weinland added, customers ahead of you could take longer to have their information processed.

"People need to be prepared to stand in line," she said. "Be sure to plan extra time."

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