Nevada Department of Vehicles’ Response to Covid-19 and Las Vegas Accidents

As many businesses closed throughout Reno and Las Vegas in late March, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles was no exception. However, this left many Nevadans unable to renew their license, obtain their permits, or register their vehicles.  As Nevada entered its second phase of reopening, the DMV unveiled their plans on reopening. How will ones’ experience at the DMV, once characterized by large crowds and long lines, change with these new reopening procedures. Additionally, what caused the increase of pedestrian and vehicle accidents this past month in the Las Vegas and Clark County area? Could it be the busier traffic patterns as Southern Nevadans return to work and other activities?

Nevada DMV‘s New Policies

As the Department of Motor Vehicles reopen offices throughout Northern and Southern Nevada, they remind Nevadans that their top priority is worker safety and patron safety. To begin, Nevadans should use the following procedure: “Go online first, wait if possible, and be prepared if you do have to come into the office.” [1] By following this procedure, the DMV can reduce the number of customers needing to come into offices. They suggests doing common and simple transactions, like vehicle registration renewals, online. In offices in Carson City, Henderson, Las Vegas and Reno, DMV staff will be walking the lines outside the offices ensuring customers have followed the steps above, and have attempted to address their need virtually before entering the office. For the foreseeable future, the DMV will only offer in-person services for matters that can impact a person’s ability to drive. Customers can request in-person services for the following proceedings:

  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation reinstatements
  • Driver’s license knowledge tests
  • License or ID for customers with no form of valid ID
  • Original vehicle registration of recently-purchased vehicles not eligible for online registration
  • Vehicle movement permits
  • Title transfers
  • Renewals of documents that expired prior to March 16
  • Transactions involving bad debt with the Department
  • Commercial Driver License services (where available)
  • Dealer Services, Fleets, Motor Carriers, Registration Services and Occupational License Renewals [2]

Additionally, there is a ninety day extension (until September 13)  on expired documents, and if one were to be involve in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident with these papers during the grace period, they will not be penalized.[3] As of July 28, 2020 the DMV also allows mail in renewals for Northern Nevada residents. This measure prevents over 75,000 Nevadans from having to visit their local DMV to renew their license. [4] Those utilizing in-person services must follow social distancing rules and wear a face covering. To ensure worker’s safety, all surfaces and areas will be disinfected after customer use.

Las Vegas Sees an Increase in Car Accidents

As, many Nevadans flock to their nearest DMV, with over a hundred clients lining up on reopening day, Las Vegas and Clark County  has seen a spate of car and pedestrian accidents in the last 30 days.

On July 16, a car accident occurred at a Las Vegas intersection. The cause of the accident was a drunk driver speeding at a terrifying 120 miles per hour. [6] The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to split in half. Unfortunately, one of the victims of this crash was an infant. This accident, though somewhat disturbing, is a reminder to not only those in Clark County, but everyone in Northern and Southern Nevada, that drunk driving and speeding is dangerous and can have devastating outcomes. The perpetrator of this car accident was arrested and taken into custody.

Later last month, on July 24, another crash occurred—this time in Downtown Las Vegas at 9:45 a.m. on US Highway 95. [7] This car accident involved many vehicles, but did not result in any fatalities. This accident happened during morning traffic, and is a good reminder Nevadans to pay attention to the road, even if you are in a rush to get to work or other commitments.

Then, in the early morning hours of July 30, a rollover accident occurred just outside of the Las Vegas area. The accident caused three hour closures, and injured four people. [8] Later in the day, another accident happened—this time a pedestrian accident. This pedestrian hit-and-run accident in central Las Vegas resulted in the death of a forty three year old woman and injured another. The suspect has yet to be identified, but a search is underway. Clark County authorities remind Southern Nevadans to ensure their safety  during the nighttime, if walking, by wearing bright clothes, have reflectors, learn proper hand signals, and refrain from using headphones or anything distracting. [9]

As Nevadans slowly return to a new normal, services such as the Department of Motor Vehicles have provided residents of Reno, Las Vegas, Carson City, and Henderson with procedures and steps of their reopening. These new policies allow Nevadans to do simple tasks at the comfort of their home, but also provides them an option to receive in-person services if necessary. By following these steps the DMV can hopefully ensure worker safety, as well as customer satisfaction. However, amidst the chaos surrounding reopening, Nevadans, especially Las Vegas and Clark County residents, must not lose sight of the road. Drivers and pedestrians, from Reno to Las Vegas, need to remember to take extra precautions and check their surroundings when on Nevada roadways.










Image Credit: Coolcaesar





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