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Opinion | Shelby County, help's on the way for renewing your plates | Richard Ransom

Don't want to wait in line at the Shelby County Clerk's Office to renew your plates? Richard Ransom explains how your stress will soon be relieved.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Relief is on the way for thousands of Shelby County drivers frustrated by long delays in getting their car's license plates renewed.

ABC24 was first to show you the backlog, not to mention County Clerk Wanda Halbert's clear frustration that she was being denied money she asked for time and time again to hire the necessary staff.

She has the busiest clerk's office in Tennessee. Halbert gets hundreds of calls a day and renews everyone's vehicle registrations, which is only worse this year due to Tennessee rolling out its new blue license plate statewide. 

Halbert has three people to mail up to 5,000 plates a week. That's a lot of envelopes to stuff. 

"Those are the challenges we've experienced. It's not an excuse and it's not an acceptable excuse," Halbert told ABC24's Brad Broders in February. "But there are things that have to change based on the size of this county and the needs of our customers."

She's absolutely right, of course, and we learned the county administration has relaxed the 60-90 day hiring requirement. That's so Halbert can staff a new indoor and drive-through location for her office on Riverdale Road near Winchester Road. 

The county bought an old Neshoba Bank branch at 3785 Riverdale Rd. Her sign is already up, but it won't open until May due to supply chain issues.

At least help is on the way and should cut into the backlog in a big way so we're not having to drive around on expired tags waiting for our plates to arrive.

I'd love to hear what you think. Join the conversation by email (rransom@abc24.com), or my Facebook and Twitter pages.


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