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Pueblo County Clerk addresses long appointment wait times

Clerk's Office: About 43% of booked appointments are missed each day
Appointment wait times
Posted at 1:17 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 19:31:29-05

PUEBLO COUNTY — If you're still waiting to register your car or transfer a title at the Pueblo County Clerk's Office, you'll likely be waiting until after Christmas if you haven't yet made an appointment.

As of Monday, October 25, appointments are booked out until December 28.

While this may seem like lengthy time to wait for an appointment, News 5 Investigates found a large number of people booking time slots are missing their appointments.

We recently heard from people upset with wait times and a lack of appointment availability at the Clerk's Office.

Following months of criticism, we're now getting to hear from Clerk and Recorder Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz directly. He says his office is working as fast as they can to clear the backlog of cases while encouraging people to cancel their scheduled appointments if you know you aren't going to be able to make it.

In the backroom at the Clerk and Recorder's Office, Ortiz showed our cameras the amount of paperwork they are working to process.

"We have a backlog of mortgage mail," Ortiz said. "We have about 5 baskets and we're used to having about 2."

Mortgage mail
Mortgage mail waiting to be processed in Pueblo County

Every envelope in this pile contains paperwork from a local car dealership that is waiting to get processed by staff.

Meanwhile, in the lobby of the 1st floor, customers showing up for their pre-scheduled appointments are waiting in line to get their business done.

Line for pre-scheduled appointments
People waiting in line to meet with a clerk for their scheduled appointment

The county rolled out its reservation system during COVID-19 which eliminated walk-ins.

At first, Ortiz admits this did cause some frustrations for people.

"We had a lot of aggressiveness from our customers at that point," Ortiz said.

However, Ortiz says over the last several months, he's been able to hire additional staff to help clear the backlog. He also says staff has been working extended hours to get caught up on processing paperwork.

Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz
Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz

"Right now it's a lot better than it has been," Ortiz said.

Tuesday through Friday starting at 8 a.m., up to 16 people can reserve one time slot.

Appointment times are spaced out every 20 minutes.

"We have a lot of people who told us they love the appointment system because they know exactly when to show up and they know they are going to get in and out in 10 minutes," Ortiz said. "Then we have a lot of people who are frustrated with us because either they haven't shown up to their appointment or missed it and then they have to wait another 3 months."

No-shows for appointments
Appointment no-shows

Appointment no-shows:

According to Ortiz, about 43-percent of people who have appointments each day never show up.

To put that percentage into perspective, here's an example:

Let's say the county has 18 time slots each day. Every slot can host up to 16 people.

This means the county can serve about 288 customers daily.

If 43-percent fail to show, that's 123 missed appointments.

Appointment wait times example
Example only: Impact of appointment no-shows

Over a month or two, this would equal thousands of missed appointments.

"If you just don't show, you're going to have to wait a couple months until the next appointment is open and you're taking a away a slot from another citizen who could have used that slot to get business done," Ortiz said.

Ortiz says if you know you aren't going to make your appointment, email their office or go online to the appointment portal system to cancel your time slot. This will allow staff to offer those appointments to other customers on a wait list.

Don't want to book an appointment several months out?

Instead of booking a time slot after Christmas, you can also add your name to the appointment wait list. The "join a wait list" button is at the top of the appointment web page.

Once you click on the "wait list" icon, you'll need to enter your name, address and phone number.

Don't forget to click "save" or "confirm join wait list" icon on the bottom after entering your information.

Ortiz also adds they'll be opening up walk-ins for certain types of transactions like getting a replacement title or temporary tag from a private car sale in the near future.

Update: As of 10:00 p.m. October 26, the earliest available appointment is now December 30.

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