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Sandy DMV Slated for Feb Re-Opening

By Adrian Knowler

Sandy DMV Slated for Feb Re-Opening

Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles officials hope that the Sandy office will reopen some time in February after being closed for nearly two years.
DMV closed six branches statewide in May 2022, including the Sandy location, with officials stating at the time that the offices were to be closed for a period of three months. At the time, the DMV cited staffing shortages as the reason for the shut down.
More than a year and a half later, department officials report that they have now hired enough people to staff the location, but that the crop of new hires require additional training before reopening the Sandy branch. The reopening effort is still in the planning stage, according to an email from spokesperson Michelle Godfrey.
“A sufficient number of positions have been filled in both Gresham and Sandy but the new staff need to complete a minimum amount of training before reopening the office,” Godfrey wrote. “DMV frontline positions require a great deal of training and knowledge to be able to effectively serve the public. We are targeting mid-late February, but staffing is fluid and can change quickly so we are not yet prepared to state that time range unequivocally.”
The Sandy office is the only one of the half dozen still shuttered, according to Godfrey.
“Sandy’s staffing situation has been more complicated than other offices around the state,” she said, explaining that staff share time working at multiple locations, including Gresham.
“To staff offices daily, we rely on being able to send relief from one office to another,” said Godfrey. “The Sandy office relies heavily on the Gresham office’s ability to send relief, which has also struggled over the past year.”
Mountain residents have had to travel further from home to take care of DMV business, with appointments at other nearby locations sometimes difficult to come by.
Kelsey Warren drove over two hours to Bend when the Sandy office went offline.
“We took my cousin to get her license and decided to go to Bend because without Sandy all the other [locations] were booked for months,” Warren said.
She pointed out that for people without their own cars, getting a ride or taking public transit also presents additional challenges.
“Having to hop on three buses to get to another one from the mountain is a struggle,” she said.
When asked about what the DMV has done to improve hiring and retention numbers since the closures, Godfrey pointed to streamlined internal processes and additional advertising of open positions, but said hiring remains a challenge, with many potential applicants opting for more flexible or higher-earning jobs.
“Salaries have not increased,” Godfrey said. “The customer-facing nature of DMV frontline positions does not allow for remote work and the increasing availability of telework throughout other state agencies and the private sector makes it difficult for DMV to compete for qualified candidates and retain experienced staff.”

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