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No more lines at the DMV? New W.Va. office to open Thursday

August 15, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

BARDANE, W.Va. - With features like a motorcycle-riding test course and touch-screen terminals that patrons can use to take driver's tests, Jefferson County's first Division of Motor Vehicles office is set to open Thursday in Bardane.

The new Division of Motor Vehicles office along W.Va. 9 has been a much-anticipated project designed to make it more convenient for county residents to take care of their DMV business.

County residents use the DMV office in Martinsburg, W.Va., to handle licensing, registration and other needs, and the Martinsburg office is one of the busiest in the state.

"I'm hoping we don't have those long lines," Jefferson County Commission member Dale Manuel said Monday. "I think it's a fantastic opportunity for Jefferson County. We couldn't be happier."

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The DMV office will open at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. The hours for the office initially will be Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., said Pete Lake, director of regional offices and call center services for the DMV.

Some evening and Saturday hours might be added later once officials get a feel for the demand for the new office, Lake said.

Lake said he expects use of the office to be light at first, then build.

"It's hard to assess what the demand is going to be until you're open two or three months," Lake said.

A grand opening is scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m., and Gov. Joe Manchin and other officials are expected to participate, Lake said.

The office in the Burr Industrial Park was built by RAI Properties LLC and will be leased by the DMV, Lake said.

Workers Monday were finishing last-minute details such as landscaping and setting up office operations.

Patrons will be able to take care of all of the DMV business they currently conduct at the Martinsburg office, Lake said.

The 8,000-square-foot office has nine service windows and has about the same service capacity as the office in Martinsburg, Lake said.

There is a course behind the building for motorcycle-riding tests, Lake said. People wanting to take the written driver's test will be able to do so on nine touch-screen monitors, Lake said.

The new touch-screen machines also will be installed at the Martinsburg DMV office, Lake said.

Road tests for driver's licenses will be conducted on local roads, Lake said.

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