Although the United States (US) federal bureaucracy is plagued by high vacancy rates generally, quorum requirements and small board sizes make vacancies particularly problematic within major independent regulatory commissions. Not all vacancies, however, are created equal. By statute, some major boards allow members to continue serving beyond their original term in the absence of a confirmed replacement. The difference between an empty seat and a holdover official is important as it can determine whether a board is functional or inoperable. In this article, we examine how the presence of holdover provisions within such commissions alters confirmation dynamics and vacancy rates. Evidence suggests that holdover provisions lead to quicker confirmation on nominations as well as fewer complete vacancies. Such structures thus help mitigate the short-term problems stemming from staffing independent regulatory boards, especially given the tendency towards obstruction in the US Senate.