Video: See the scariest DMV bathroom ever

Categories: News, Video

dmv bathroom.jpg
Video below.
DMV branches are often unpleasant, but the men's room at the central Denver branch, at 1865 West Mississippi Avenue, is off-the-charts. Aside from the questionable cleanliness of the facilities seen in the video below, virtually every surface has been tagged by graffiti, transforming the space into one capable of scaring the shit out of users even if they only wanted to wash their hands. How long has the bathroom been this bad? And what are officials planning to do about it?

A Westword staffer visited the West Mississippi DMV last summer and found the bathroom in roughly the same condition as is captured in the accompanying video. Mark Couch, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees the Division of Motor Vehicles, hasn't been able to discern if it was rehabbed at any point since then. But after viewing the video we shared with him and doing some followup, he says, "I'm told by our staff that it's one of two locations where we have tagging frequently. There was an office in Northglenn where we had a lot of tagging as well." However, he adds, "Most of our other offices don't report frequent problems with this issue and are able to take care of them promptly."

The fact that the central Denver branch is, in Couch's words, "a very busy office," only exacerbates the issue. According to him, staffers there produced 83,047 documents for customers in calendar year 2011, and an estimated 29,066 customers also came through for other reasons, bringing the total to 112,113 not counting friends and family members who might have accompanied folks getting licenses, etc. Presumably, males made up about half this number, and while it's unlikely all of them had to relieve themselves, long wait times common at the office suggest that thousands -- and perhaps tens of thousands -- did last year alone.

Couch doesn't shrug off this situation. "It's unacceptable," he says. "Citizens deserve better." As such, "We're going to address this issue. We rent the space, and we'll be working with the landlord to get a quote on getting painting done and getting it cleaned up."

And not a moment too soon. See the video here.

Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.

More from our Videos archive: "Video: Kyle Dyer on Today show concedes mistake led to dog bite."

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

To believe that this vandalism was never reported to DMV employees is unrealistic at best.  To believe that state budgeting was a factor is also just as unbelievable.  

Here's why.

In fiscal year 2011, the Motor Vehicle Operator License division of the Colorado Department of Revenue raked in  $20,275,62 in reported net collections, a vast increase from the $12,909,301 from the previous fiscal year of 2010.  

This data can be found here:

Colorado taxpayers can afford to pay to guarantee a certain percentage of state workers' salaries upon retirement, but they apparently can't afford to keep the men's room at the SW Denver DMV free of vandalism.

With Colorado's Public Employees' Retirement Association retirees receiving an average of 90 percent of the salaries of "active members," employees who are still working and paying into the plan, there is little wonder where fiscal irresponsibility lies and how it directly impacts the resulting negative image of the Denver's Athmar Park neighborhood. 

So, in the meantime, while state DMV workers were either too imcompetent, or too indifferent to either notice or act on this level of vandalism in a state facility, we, the hard working taxpayers who do not wake and sleep to the comfort of such a defined benefit retirement plan, will take up the responsibility of keeping our neighborhood DMV vandalism free.

At the grass roots level, will the good hearted citizens of Athmar Park take up brush and roller to stand against the indifference of the ineffective state bureaucracy. 

I applaud those who do.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Perhaps you can do weekly reviews of public toilets ...

... along with prostitute mug shots.


I think the way that the restroom has been maintained is offensive, but equally offensive is the cameraman's reference to the restroom being "ghetto."  If your article states that Northglenn also had such problems, what exactly are you referring to?  There's too much allusion to African Americans and Latinos when you use that term, and Westword should edit that out.  


Clearly you've never been to the El Chapultepec.  That men's room has got to rank one the international scale of skanky bathrooms.  Your feet stick to the floor as a result of years  of uncleaned piss/beer and other liquids.  Good thing is that the men's room is right next the bandstand, so if you get stuck, you still have the best seat in the house.


The cameraman never even mentioned African Americans or Latinos.  Are you implying that African Americans or Latinos are ghetto?  That's kind of racist man, what's your problem?

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

I have indeed been to the Pec's bathroom. But it's not supposed to be maintained by taxpayer dollars. The DMV's is. Thanks for the post.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault