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DMV officials say staffing on average is down 20% across the state, affecting several locations

If you're in need of a real ID or other in-person DMV services in Sandy this summer, you're going to have to go out of town.

The Sandy DMV closed May 31 and will remain closed through August. Officials cite staffing shortages as the reason for the temporary closure.

"If you had an appointment scheduled during that time, (the) DMV will contact you," a notice on the Sandy office's website says.

To be fully staffed, the Sandy DMV needs five staff members. Currently there is one vacancy, which is made more impactful by the fact that the Gresham, Gladstone and Sandy offices share staff.

Because of how busy the summer season typically is, DMV officials made the decision to close the Sandy office and reserve the staff they have for other locations rather than attempt to navigate a flood of requests with too few employees.

"We've never, in decades, had this kind of situation before," DMV public affairs specialist David House said. "The number of applicants is drastically smaller than it used to be."

Even during the middle of the pandemic, House said, staffing levels remained higher than they are now.

The staffing shortage, of course, is not only not exclusive to the state agency but also not exclusive to one DMV location.

The Gresham location on 181st Avenue and the Gladstone location are both down 20% in staffing levels. The Southeast Portland location is down by one-third. Across the state, House explained, there's an average staffing deficit of 20%.

The Lake Oswego and downtown Portland locations have both experienced reduced hours because of inadequate staffing as well.

On top of offices closing or reducing hours, one other residual effect of the pandemic on the DMV is a backlog of mail-in forms. House said the DMVs are still a few weeks behind on processing mailed-in titles.

No exact date has been set for when the Sandy DMV will reopen, but House said: "In August, that's when we hope things will get better."

"We'll restore (hours and services) as we can hire, train and deploy staff," he added.

The closest DMV is the Gresham location at 1519 N.E. 181st Ave., which is 15 miles from Sandy. Or, you can go to 10 82nd Drive, Gladstone, which is a 19-mile drive from Sandy.

Many services can be accessed online at oregondmv.comif needed, such as renewing a vehicle registration.

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