Vehicle registration and other functions will undergo changes on Monday, shifting to online services only while courts enforce self-distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, Missoula County announced on Sunday.
Chris Lounsbury, the county’s chief operating officer, said the changes are based on recommendations from the CDC and include the following:
- The Clerk & Recorder/Treasurer/Motor Vehicle Office will provide all services online. Customers can access drop boxes in the lobby of the Missoula County courthouse annex (near the Liquid Planet coffee shop) to drop off paperwork for clerks to process throughout the day.
- Missoula County Justice Court will begin to ask customers to utilize the customer service window in the west hallway and wait a 6-foot distance from others who may be waiting to access services. Additionally, the first row of the gallery in each courtroom will be closed to maintain a distance between the counsel tables, jury box, the bench and observers.
- Clerk of District Court will begin allowing only two customers at a time to approach customer service windows in their office. Others will be asked to wait a 6-foot distance in the rotunda from others waiting to access services. Pro Se litigants are encouraged to email their paperwork to the Clerk of Court’s office – firstname.lastname@example.org – and the regular fee will be waived. Customers are encouraged to use the online marriage application system.
- Other departments in the Missoula County Courthouse including the County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office already employ customer service windows. Customers to those windows are asked to maintain a distance of 6 feet from other customers who may be waiting for assistance.
All county departments are in the process of reviewing their operations to ensure a clear distinction between essential and non-essential functions with public health and safety as primary concern. Missoula County will be communicating changes to services and operations based on those distinctions on Monday and will provide regular updates to the media.