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BATON ROUGE — Several people have contacted 2 On Your Side this year, frustrated that they cannot reach the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

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Latrice Johnson is in quite a pickle. When she calls the OMV to have her license reinstated, no one answers the phone. Johnson says she’s been calling the number for months and couldn’t get through. All the while, she drove with a suspended license.

Thursday night, that headache caught up with her when she got a speeding ticket.

“When he pulled me over, I said, ‘Oh my God, I knew my license was suspended,'” Johnson said.

Don’t get me wrong — Johnson admits her wrongdoing, but she also knows she’s been trying to work things out for months.

“I have friends who have the same problem,” she said.

His license was suspended after he defaulted on a payment plan for a previous speeding ticket.

“I couldn’t go back on the payment plan because I called OMV, and there’s no answer,” she said.

Johnson called back Friday morning. Each time she calls, the recording reads, “Due to high call volume, we cannot take your call at this time.” He asks to call back later, then hangs up.

Since she was unable to reach by phone, Johnson says she visited several OMV locations in person. Each time she is turned away and told to call the number.

“I was informed by the state trooper there that I need to keep calling,” she said.

Johnson is far from the only one struggling to make it to the OMV. The number serves the entire state and the OMV knows there is no option to wait when the line is full.

“Officers should be more lenient, shouldn’t take your plate and embarrass you like that because it’s not our fault the motor vehicles are behind it,” Johnson said.

The OMV says changes are coming. The budget approved 20 new positions for the call center and hiring has begun. It will take four to six months to train the new recruits. There are currently 50 to 60 employees working on the reintegration part of the call center every day. The OMV is also exploring a call back option, so the phone doesn’t hang up when the line is full.

Time is running out for Johnson, who, according to the sticker on his car, has about a week to clear his papers.

“I have 10 days to rectify this. If I don’t rectify this and get pulled over again, I risk having my vehicle towed,” she said.

Johnson will continue to call the number and hope someone answers so she can collect her license and plate.