The Department of Motor Vehicles, along with State Rep. Dorinda Borer (D-115) and officials from the City of West Haven and its Chamber of Commerce, announced Tuesday that DMV and the city next year will open a Customer Service Center for license and ID card renewals.
The effort is part of DMV’s plan to replace the now-closed eight AAA offices in New Haven and Fairfield counties. This also will be DMV’s first office fully managed under municipal direction.
In the past, offices were housed in municipal buildings, but were staffed by DMV. Under this model, the staffing will be independent of the DMV as done now at AAA Club Alliance offices in Hartford, Middlesex and New London counties.
This new service center will be located in City Hall and will be run by the Chamber of Commerce. An exact date for opening will be decided shortly. The center, available to all customers in Connecticut, will provide services two days a week, with additional days possibly added later next year.
Borer contacted DMV early in August to explore a new municipal model for an office to serve West Haven and surrounding towns.
“Given West Haven’s population, we are a perfect hub for state services, Borer said. “This is a terrific opportunity for not only our city, but the entire region as this program will alleviate congestion in the regional offices. The icing on the cake, however, is that the significant foot traffic to our downtown area will be a boost to local businesses and potentially new ones.”
She continued that state agencies should be able to serve the public in a more convenient way.
“Government agencies should always work together to achieve cost effective user friendly models that bring economic benefits to our cities and towns. I am encouraged by how well this is coming together to achieve those goals,” she said.
DMV Commissioner Michael Bzdyra hailed the new plan as a new way of doing business.
“We are excited about the start of bringing additional service centers for our customers. This is important to them, it’s important to the state, the city and the chamber. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Mayor Edward M. O’Brien was excited by the new service.
“This is a great opportunity for West Haven,” O’Brien said. “Not only will our residents have a more convenient option for DMV services, but this new facility will attract thousands of new visitors from around the state to the center of West Haven every year. Increasing the number of visitors to our center is a key aspect of attracting new development and will play a large role in revitalizing our downtown.”
“The West Haven Chamber of Commerce looks forward to being part of this exciting venture,” said Alan Olenick, the chamber’s executive director. “We look forward to providing a necessary service to West Haven and its surrounding towns. Attracting thousands of people to our city and its downtown area is part of our mission to help support West Haven business.”
The DMV will also continue to pursue partnerships with additional municipalities and private companies with the aim to increase and improve customer service across the state.