Long lines at DOL offices fueled by furlough, holiday

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on September 8, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 8 at 5:54 PM

LACEY, Wash. - Wait times at most state Department of Licensing offices averaged at over an hour Wednesday and the lines are not expected to get much shorter the rest of the week.

A backlog was created after the state closed offices for Labor Day and then again Tuesday as DOL workers observed a furlough day. Thousands of state worker have been forced to take unpaid furlough days to save the state money.

At 1 p.m. Wednesday customers were waiting at the Kennewick office for more than two and a half hours, according to a DOL website.

At the DOL office in Lacey, Ginny Albers thought she could beat the crowd by arriving office 15 minutes before it opened Wednesday morning. She ended up 31st in line and had 10 people behind her when the office opened.

"Why? Why?" Albers asked.

A DOL spokesperson said if customers can wait until next week, they should.

Since state workers started taking furloughs in July, average wait times at DOL offices have risen from 37 minutes to 43 minutes.

The state offers many services on its website, including renewing licenses. To check on wait times or to see what services can be offered without a wait in line, go to: http://www.dol.wa.gov/

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