Moms with kids told to wait outside Plant City DMV office

- A mother had to renew her car registration, but was told she had to wait in the sun with other mothers because she had her one-year-old daughter with her.

It occurred last week at the at the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Plant City. The incident sparked outrage, not only on social media, but from those who were at the office on James L. Redman Parkway.

Liz Gatley arrived early with her daughter, London, hoping to get in and out as fast as possible.

When it was her turn, the assistant manager on duty asked her to wait outside with her baby girl. That’s when another customer snapped a photo. Gatley, and a couple of other mothers, were asked to wait in the sun, with nowhere to sit and no air conditioning.

In a Facebook post, Gatley said she waited two hours to be served. She also said that she would understand being asked to wait outside if her daughter was being disruptive, but that wasn’t the case. She wasn’t screaming or crying.

Gatley said while that assistant manager wasn’t apologetic, other employees were. As other customers came out the door, they too, voiced their frustrations with what happened.

When Hillsborough County Tax Collector, Doug Belden, heard of the incident, he responded in a statement saying in part:

"I can assure our customers, we will use this as a learning opportunity and provide additional training and guidance to all of our staff to ensure our customers are treated with compassion and respect and receive the great customer service expected from our office."

Belden apologized to Gatley in a phone call and said he will also meet with her and the assistant manager to discuss the incident and take the appropriate actions.

He also said he plans to install benches at every tax collector office in Hillsborough County.

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