As of July 2020 and like many agencies that have in-office employees, both Montgomery and Harris County government offices are generally remaining open during regular business hours with modifications to protect the public and employees. While most offices and services in both counties are open from either 7 or 8 A.M. in the morning until at least 4 P.M., Monday through Friday, every county office in Texas has been working to meet state safety guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and help slow its impact in communities.
Changes Institute Recent Texas State Health Guidelines
Public members visiting offices can expect a lot of change with how counter services and public offices are being managed now, which can impact the practical access during the day. Much of the restriction involves limitations on how many people can be in a public-serving building at the same time. These modified numbers are impacted by social distancing guidelines as well as procedures put in place to protect everyone involves. That can include limiting the number in the building, restricted movement, spacing, and even temperature testing as it may apply. Other limitations can include limiting the number of people to an elevator, requiring masks, lots signage and equipment for hand cleaning, and reduced services to avoid crowding at counters and points of convergence. All of these aspects will cause slowing services and bottlenecks that make practical access take longer. However, the official office hours continue to stay open for normal government operations.
Some Offices Are Appointment-Only
In some cases, offices may not be open to walk-ins and have converted to appointment basis. The given office is still technically open, but one will need a specific scheduled time arranged to show up and receive service from the specific office. This treatment tends to happen with offices that deal with person-specific services such as marriage licenses, court hearings, tax office meetings, and similar.
Don’t Forget Your Identification
In other cases folks planning to visit a county office will need to make sure they bring a valid identification such as a driver’s license. Some county offices based on their services require proof of identification and being a county resident to reduce crowds and traffic from out of town. Again, these offices are not closed per se, but they have restrictions that in effect could block a person at the door who is not prepared to meet all the entry criteria for services that day.
Things are Changing Monthly
Note that because of rapid changes occurring to public health due to COVID-19, guidelines and office practices are changing quickly, even monthly. Everyone needing government services in person should check the day before that a county agency office hasn’t suddenly made changes at the last second to access. Just about every Montgomery or Harris County Office can be reached by these portals:
Harris County: https://www.harriscountytx.gov/Harris-County-A-Z
Montgomery County: https://mctx.org/departments/index.php