Ada County DMVs are experiencing delays again. What to know to speed up your visit

Idaho DMV provides "emergency extension"
Posted at 3:08 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 17:08:37-05

This article was originally published by Hayley Harding in the Idaho Statesman.

Ada County’s offices of the Division of Motor Vehicles are once again experiencing delays.

That’s a not a new problem. The Idaho Department of Transportation rolled out a new system for DMVs in October, called the GEM system. It offered significant improvements to a decades-old system, but some officials, including Ada County Assesor Bob McQuade, said it was pushed out too early. Employees had a hard time navigating it, creating big slowdowns and frustration for them and for customers.

Now, employees are all trained on it, Ada County spokesperson Elizabeth Duncan said in an email. But the program requires more information and more steps, and that requires additional time. And Ada County is having staffing problems because of COVID-19.

Wait times depend on the day, Duncan said, but people report times longer than an hour and a half. Social distancing requirements mean that only a few people are allowed in at a time, which means oftentimes, people must wait outside.

Ada County is encouraging people to instead use online services. Many common DMV services can be managed online. Vehicle registrations can be renewed online by visiting

In Ada County, you can also make an appointment up to a month in advance for the service you need. Visit

There are five DMV locations in Ada County:

  • 8655 W. Franklin Road, Boise
  • 190 E. Front St., Boise
  • 1769 N. Lakes Ave., Meridian
  • 9115 Chinden Blvd., Garden City
  • 10769 W. State St., Star

Appointments can be made for any of them.
You can also make appointments to renew your driver’s license, although DMVs are separate from driver’s license offices. Ada County’s driver’s license office is at 400 N. Benjamin Lane in Boise. A county assessor is in charge of the DMVs, while the sheriff’s office oversees the driver’s license offices.