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AAA recommits to providing driver license services to non-members in Connecticut

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HARTFORD–After initially reporting it would no longer offer licensing services to non-members, AAA has reversed its decision to part ways with the Connecticut DMV.

Earlier this month, the roadside assistance and travel organization’s Northeast division sent a letter to the state of its intention to stop offering the services. AAA Northeast serves Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield Counties. AAA Allied, another group that serves Hartford, Middlesex, New London, Tolland and Windham Counties, never planned to stop offering licensing services to non-members.

Upon learning the news, Gov. Dan Malloy issued a letter saying the move was “unacceptable” and “shocking since Connecticut has always valued (its) working relationship with AAA.” He went on to say the public-private partnership was mutually beneficial and had always been positive since it began in 2001.

“DMV has made real, demonstrable progress throughout this year to lower wait times and improve customer experience,” the Governor wrote on October 3. “We will not allow the actions of AAA Northeast to disrupt that progress.”

In fact, Malloy has not been shy about wanting to expand that relationship. In February, he proposed legislation to further reduce DMV wait times by allowing AAA offices and other outside contractors to offer vehicle registration services, in addition to licensing services.

Malloy threatened legal action, and it appears that the two sides came to an agreement. On Thursday, Gov. Malloy said in a statement:

We appreciate AAA Northeast’s willingness to join us at the table and discuss how to continue to serve the best interest of Connecticut drivers.  As a result of our recent discussion, AAA Northeast has committed to continuing to service to divers until the end of its current contract.  The continuation of this working partnership between AAA and the DMV will benefit both AAA members and non-members alike.  I look forward to our ongoing, future conversations regarding a longer-term arrangement.

AAA Northeast released a statement of its own:

Working together with legislators and state officials, AAA has agreed to serve all Connecticut drivers, beginning Monday October 18, 2016, and continuing through the end of the year while we discuss how the DMV partnership might be reshaped to meet the needs of both sides.