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‘We cannot afford to lose more employees from the stress of verbal abuse' | Travis County Tax Office faces significant delays

Expect to wait more than a month if you need to visit the Travis County Tax Office. Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant blames vacancies, job stress and COVID-19.

AUSTIN, Texas — Delays mount for the public needing help at the Travis County Tax Office. 

The Travis County Tax Office handles all vehicle registration, issues license plates and disability placards. The office also issues alcoholic beverage permits to businesses, collects property tax and handles voter registration

The KVUE Defenders found more than a dozen of positions are not filled.

“We have lost employees due to the stress of listening to angry customers taking the situation out on our staff. It is not their fault or yours. We cannot afford to lose more employees from the stress of verbal abuse,” Bruce Elfant, Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar, wrote in a letter to the public.

The office workers said not enough people are applying either.

Employees sent out more than 30,000 delinquent bill notices recently, which added to the volume of cases.

Fourteen people work in the call center. Workers see about 400 people each day. Still, appointments are booked for more than a month out.

“We are doing everything we can to overcome our unprecedented staff shortages. We have streamlined our hiring process. We added employees with motor vehicle expertise from other divisions. Employees are volunteering to work some Saturdays,” Elfant wrote.

Elfant encourages the public to handle business online, if possible.

If not, services are also available via drive-thru in Central Austin, southeast Austin and Pflugerville.

“Double and triple check that you have all the required paperwork before coming to our office for a title or first-time Texas registration. Missing paperwork is a wasted trip for you and slows us down. Everything you will need is listed on this website. Even if you bought a new Tesla that comes with an out-of-state inspection, every vehicle MUST have a passing Texas inspection before it can be titled or registered,” Elfant wrote.

Vehicle registration renewal substations are also at AAA, City of Jonestown, Fiesta Mart and H-E-B.

To be eligible for renewal, you'll need:

  • Expiration for the current month or following month
  • Renewal form, proof of insurance, proof of inspection and valid photo ID 

Farm vehicles are not able to renew at the substations.

Voter registration applications can be picked up at H-E-B, Randall’s, post offices, certain local businesses, universities and other governmental offices.

The tax office website shows all visitors must wear a mask in all Travis County buildings.

You can apply to work at the tax office through the county’s job board.

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