James Beach, a business man from Boulder, lost his Colorado driver’s license on a recent trip to San Diego.
Getting home wasn’t much of a problem, Transportation Security Administration in San Diego accepted a secondary government identification to depart and Beach also has a passport. It’s when he got home to Boulder that an issue arose.
On Monday, Beach dropped in to the Boulder Driver License Office, a branch of the Colorado DMV, hoping he could quickly and conveniently replace his lost license. But, due to ongoing coronavirus concerns, Beach was told the office sees customers in person by appointment only.
The earliest appointment for Beach would be on Feb. 19. No single customer was in the office Monday when he arrived and more than a dozen staffers were on hand, said Beach, who lost the license on Jan. 28.
“I get it, it’s about the coronavirus, but you have to use common sense,” Beach said.
Beach, 55, who travels frequently, will be able to make business trips, but once he lands in another city he won’t be able to rent a car without a license. And driving in Colorado without a license is illegal and runs risks, he said.
The statewide average appointment to renew or replace a Colorado driver’s license is about three weeks, according to the state DMV, although the wait may vary from office to office. This week, the DMV scheduled over 15,000 such appointments for February, March and April.
Customers needing an appointment sooner than what is scheduled can “check back with our appointment scheduler because people cancel appointments daily and those cancellations become open appointments,” said Derek Kuhn, communications specialist with the Colorado Department of Revenue, in an email.
A Colorado driver license can also be renewed online at myDMV.Colorado.gov or through the myColorado app, Kuhn said.
On Monday, when Beach, who had a face mask, saw not a singular customer being helped and the office staffed, frustration set in, he said.
“To turn someone away … it would have taken them five minutes, maybe 10,” Beach said. “If this is the case, you have to modify” the policy or procedure.”
At this time, however, Colorado DMV has no update on when walk-in service may resume.
“We will continue to assess the situation on the ground, as we have throughout the pandemic, balancing essential services and the health of our customers and DMV Team Members, while following public health orders,” Kuhn said.
Beach said reached out to the Office of Gov. Jared Polis about the situation. “I got a generic, auto response.”
As Beach was leaving the Boulder office, another man came up with the same request: “Can I walk in, I don’t have an appointment?”
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