Appointments available at ID card office
February 22, 2012
HEIDELBERG, Germany - Places people expect a wait: the Department of Motor Vehicles. The emergency room. Before a popular concert.
Starting March 1, U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg community members can scratch the identification card and DEERS office in Heidelberg off the list.
The office will implement a 24/7 online appointment scheduler at https://rapids-appointments.dmdc.osd.mil that will allow family members, civilians, Reserve component, retirees and other select ID card holders to view a virtual calendar and choose times that best fit their busy schedules.
Active duty Soldiers may accompany their family members to the office on the Community Support Center, but for their individual needs, they should contact their unit adjutants, or S1s, prior to making an appointment to ensure services are available to their unit.
Soldiers assigned to units with Common Access or ID card capabilities must be serviced by their unit.
Recent unexpected staff losses contributed to extremely long wait times for customers, and as a result, negative comments were posted on the garrison's Interactive Customer Evaluation site, said Richard A. McKeller, Central Processing Facility manager.
The staff conducted weeks of their own research and read positive feedback from organizations that currently use the online system, and the overall consensus is that it's user-friendly and reliable, McKeller said.
"I'm very excited about the new system and the advantages it will offer our customers, especially those with limited time schedules. Customers will appreciate the flexibility to schedule an appointment that fits their need and schedule," McKeller added.
Customers with appointments will take priority and will be seen within minutes of their scheduled time, but walk-in customers are still welcome to wait until a free slot is available.
If more than 15 minutes late for an appointment, customers will need to reschedule.
This customized web-based scheduling program, along with retaining a walk-in service capability, will maximize the effective use of manpower while minimizing customer wait time, McKeller said.
Customers with and without appointments are still required to sign in and wait for their number to be called.
If a customer with an appointment realizes or is informed they are missing documents, they may be able to return without being considered a walk-in.
More complex issues may require rescheduling, McKeller said.