Advocacy Works! DMV Adds Staff and Additional Hours in Response to Green Light


The first two weeks of the new Green Light program were a bit hairy. Many local Department of Motor Vehicle offices reported that lines three hours long were common. The New York Immigration Coalition and the Green Light Coalition stepped up advocacy just before Christmas to press for better services for everyone using the DMV’s services. Since the first of the year, things have been improving. New York State DMV has come through by expanding hours at Long Island, New York City, and Hudson Valley Offices, hiring new staff, and detailing senior staff from Albany to assist the Downstate offices getting the bulk of the new applications for Green Light licenses.

DMV also announced that its New York City and Long Island offices will now open at 7:30 AM. DMV is now offering appointments for Saturday at seven locations—Midtown (Manhattan), Jamaica (Queens), Atlantic Ave. (Brooklyn), Garden City (Nassau), Medford (Suffolk), West Haverstraw (Rockland) and Yonkers (Westchester).

I strongly encourage anyone who needs to go to DMV over the next couple of months to make an appointment through the online reservation system. People who have used it say that having an appointment cuts down on waiting time dramatically.

Overall, there has been a marked improvement in DMV implementation of Green Light.

Below is the announcement from the DMV of the service improvements:


Seven Offices Now Open on Saturdays

Offices Open at 7:30AM Monday through Friday

In response to an unprecedented number of customers visiting DMV offices in the five boroughs of New York City and on Long Island, the NYS DMV is now offering appointments for Saturday at seven locations—Midtown (Manhattan), Jamaica (Queens), Atlantic Ave. (Brooklyn), Garden City (Nassau), Medford (Suffolk), West Haverstraw (Rockland) and Yonkers (Westchester). In addition, all offices in NYC and Long Island are now opening at 7:30am—an hour earlier than the previous opening time.

“Just this week, we deployed additional staff to help with communication and customer service and saw an immediate impact,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “We have seen a large reduction in the lines outside most offices, and nearly twice as many customers are receiving expedited service through Saturday appointments. We are continuing to make adjustments and hire more staff to further improve the service to our customers.”

To prepare for the anticipated increase in customers, the DMV hired more than 300 new employees and are still actively recruiting new staff.  Office space was reconfigured, new work spaces were added and flex space, like conference rooms, were converted to permit testing rooms to maximize the number of customers who could be served at one time. 

The DMV also purchased new office equipment and document authentication devices to help expedite license and permit transactions. If there is a wait, customers are being offered return tickets to come back to the office at a specific time later in the day so they can avoid waiting in the office.

In addition, the reservation system has been upgraded and the number of reservation slots available to customers Monday through Friday was increased. Customers, especially those needing a permit test, are encouraged to make a reservation, which they can do on online at:  Reservations can significantly reduce a customer’s wait time.

To ensure customers are prepared for their visit, staff is proactively providing study materials, forms and other helpful information while customers wait to complete their transaction.  Staff will also review a customer’s documentation to make sure they have what they need.  The DMV also directs customers to use the in-office kiosks or the DMV website for any transaction that can be completed online.

For more information about DMV, visit, or follow the DMV on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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