IN AND OUT AT MVD?:
That’s been the standard operating procedure since the state Motor Vehicle Division went to an appointment-only system in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, “the percentage of customers who wait 30 minutes or less has increased to 94%, and the percentage who wait 10 minutes or less has increased to 60%,” according to a news release from Taxation and Revenue, the division’s parent agency.
Tax and Rev Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke says “most offices have same-day availability, which means we can usually serve even those customers with last-minute needs.” To book an appointment go to mvdonline.com or call 888-683-4636.
And if you make a trip to the Albertsons at San Mateo and Montgomery or Juan Tabo and Candelaria, you can skip the MVD and use a self-serve kiosk to renew your vehicle registration (including on-site printing of the new sticker), as well as pay a citation. Spokesman Charlie Moore says “we are looking at new locations, including at least one on the West Side. … I’m hoping to be able to announce something in the near future.”
HOW MANY PLATES DOES N.M. NEED? Larry asks via email “why so many license plates in this state, 19 I count; (do) some need to be eliminated? Also why not a license plate with the state bird, roadrunner?”
There are actually 37 plates pictured on the MVD website, and that does not include the 22 available veteran decals.
Moore explains “many of the plates were sponsored (by) legislators to raise awareness and/or funds for organizations or causes” 17 total – from autism awareness to pet spay/neuter to organ donation and more. “Then there are the collegiate plates” 10 total – UNM, NMSU, Eastern, Western and Northern, N.M. Tech, Highlands, NMMI, CNM and N.M. Junior College. “And the military/veteran plates” – 10 that include all branches of the service and reserves as well as disabled veteran and Gold Star family. As for the roadrunner, it’s on the “share with wildlife” plate, which raises money for the Share with Wildlife Program of the Game Protection Fund.
AND CAN SPEED CAMERAS READ THEM? Now that speed cameras are coming back to Albuquerque streets, Charles Caldwell asks if in its recent test-runs on Montgomery and Gibson (which registered a lot vehicles going well over 100 mph) “Did the city report how many vehicle license plates could not be read by the speed camera?”
No. Not even if they had those plastic covers purported to obscure plate numbers. Because it read them all.
Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Rebecca Atkins says “the company has not had any issues reading any license plates. Yes, some plates with the covers you are referring to have driven past the devices, but they are still able to read the plates.”
FREE HOLIDAY PARKING: Finally, the city of Albuquerque is spreading some holiday cheer with free parking on Central and in Old Town through Jan. 2. M eters will display a “Happy Holidays” message.
Department of Municipal Development spokesman Johnny Chandler says in a news release “every parking meter on Central Avenue is free for two hours. Free parking is also being offered in the Old Town parking lots on Central between Romero Street NW and San Felipe Street NW.”
Mayor Tim Keller says in the release “We’ve encouraged shoppers to ‘buy local’ every holiday season, and this year is no different. We’re making it easier for shoppers to support local with free parking right in front of some of our favorite local businesses.” And Parking Division Manager Jeremy Keiser adds “Happy Holidays from the City of Albuquerque Parking Division. We want to make your local shopping experience as amazing as possible.”
Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 505-823-3858; firstname.lastname@example.org; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109.