License renewal center to open in West Haven

WEST HAVEN -- Since AAA offices in Fairfield and New Haven Counties no longer conduct drivers license and ID card renewals, the state Department of Motor Vehicles has been looking for new partners.

For several months now, state and local officials have been working with the DMV on this deal and today they announced the newest DMV office will be opening right here in West Haven City Hall.

Sometime this winter, perhaps as soon as January, a portion of the basement of West Haven City Hall will become another vehicle to drivers license and ID renewals.

"It's going to be open a couple of days a week," said State Rep Dorinda Borer (D-West Haven). "We expect that it will bring thousands of transactions to our downtown area."

This new processing center will be operated by the West Haven Chamber of Commerce, which will assess a $5 convenience fee, which will cover the overhead.

"What's really beneficial about this program is no city resources, no personnel and no state resources are going to need to be hired," said Borer.

DMV commissioner, Michael Bzdyra, who took the wheel about a year and a half ago, has steadily been trying to improve customer service.

"One thing I've heard over and over again it is we need other locations," said Bzdyra.

Borer said she got the idea for a DMV satellite center from a constituent, Mark Antonucci.

"This is going to be a good public service," said Antonicci at Tuesday's press briefing.

It's estimated the new DMV facility will serve 1,500 customers a week by only being open on Wednesday, Thursday and perhaps Friday

"The DMV, over the past years, now be honest, is a disaster," said Antonucci.

One good thing about having a DMV office located in City Hall, according to Borer is, "if there's an issue, you need your birth certificate or you need some sort of documentation someone can go right up to city clerks office or the tax office and resolve those issues."

Right now, the DMV says three qualified private entities are bidding to take over the expired AAA contract to operate multiple license and ID processing centers in New Haven and Fairfield Counties.