PHOENIX – In order to strengthen efforts to protect the health and safety of all Arizonans during the current pandemic, all Arizona Department of Transportation offices, including the Motor Vehicle Division, now require employees and customers to wear face coverings.
“Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our customers and employees,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “COVID-19 is a significant health threat and we are committed to doing everything we can to protect Arizonans, especially those in vulnerable populations.”
Based on guidelines from state and national public health authorities, ADOT is making the wearing of coverings mandatory for employees and customers who have appointments at MVD offices and any other ADOT locations where the public does business. This includes ports of entry and Enforcement and Compliance Division offices, VIN inspection locations and the Executive Hearing Office, among others. Previously, only customers at MVD offices with road-test appointments were required to wear face coverings.
Many Arizona municipalities are requiring people to wear coverings in public, and ADOT urges customers to be aware of the policies in their communities.
The vast majority of customer contacts occur at MVD offices. Locations have been open since the public health emergency was declared in March, but appointments are required and are limited to services such as first-time driver licenses, first-time registrations and road tests.
While the face covering requirement is new, since the declaration of the public health emergency MVD offices have implemented a number of procedures to protect the public’s health:
- MVD began limiting all office visits to appointment-only to reduce the number of customer and employee interactions. This also discourages lines forming outside.
- Every office now has clear screens separating employees and customers as well as social distancing markers.
- To further reduce the need for customers to visit an office, a statewide customer service phone line at 602.712.2700 was established to handle some transactions. Customers may also email MVD through the ADOT Contact page at azdot.gov. Also, online offerings increased significantly with more services added to azmvdnow.gov.
- There is added cleaning of each location on a regular basis.
- Many MVD services are available online anytime at azmvdnow.gov or through ServiceArizona.com.
- Online options are especially important as the customer service experience has been impacted due to the coronavirus. Call center operations have been diminished, meaning call queues can be more than 30 minutes before reaching a customer service representative.
“ADOT continues working with our telephone system providers to improve the customer experience,” Halikowski said. “We are operating in unprecedented times and our customers are feeling the stress of that when trying to do business with us. We recognize this is not the level of service that the public has come to expect, or that we expect from ourselves, and we are working hard to find new ways to safely and effectively serve the public.”
With employees absent due to illness and quarantine requirements, customer service representatives are feeling the pressure to maintain acceptable levels of service – building on the improvements heralded at MVD over the past few years.
“Before this public health emergency, MVD was focused on improving the customer experience and reducing wait times in offices. We haven’t lost that focus,” said Eric Jorgensen, director of ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division. “We know today’s situation for customers isn’t good, and we apologize for that. At the same time, we have offices around the state with front-line workers dedicated to keeping pace with the needs of our customers. Under stressful and hectic conditions, they are pushing forward to provide critical services for the public. We are making process and technology improvements every day to make the situation better for Arizonans.”
The face covering requirement for employees, customers and visitors will be effective Monday, June 22.
For more information: azdot.gov.