Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 | 2 a.m.
Unsuspecting drivers who may not know their licenses or vehicle insurance policies are suspended are bound to encounter a time-consuming surprise when their number is called and they reach the window at the DMV.
To eliminate the required visit to the Las Vegas Township Justice Court downtown in order to restore driving privileges, a west valley Department of Motor Vehicles office has launched a pilot program that lets drivers solve their legal issues on site.
The DMV site, 8250 W. Flamingo Road, will feature a back-corner window where motorists can pay fines and traffic tickets and clear warrants to reinstate their licenses.
Officials are in discussions to expand the program, which is on a six-month trial, to the remaining valley DMV offices, said Juliet Carnival, a legal officer services supervisor with the Justice Court. Similar programs have been implemented in California.
Since its recent inception this month, five to 10 daily customers have taken advantage of the program, Carnival said. That number is expected to rise to 30 to 50 after the program was publicly announced this week, she added.
The window, staffed by Justice Court personnel, only takes payments for fines in the Las Vegas jurisdiction, officials said.
Carnival on Wednesday afternoon told the story of a couple with disabilities who had used the system earlier in the day and were "so happy" they didn't have to make the drive downtown.
“Many people don’t realize that an unpaid traffic ticket results in an arrest warrant and driver’s license suspension. They are caught by surprise at the DMV,” said court officials Sherri Parris in a statement. “Clearing the case at the DMV is not only a great convenience for the motorist, it also helps them avoid illegal driving and a possible arrest.”