DUMMERSTON — The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on July 7 the planned reopening of its satellite office at 870 U.S. Route 5.
That office, along with ones in St. Johnsbury and St. Albans, will reopen in early August.
No plans have yet been announced to reopen satellite offices in Middlebury and White River Junction. The DMV says it is developing a reopening plan.
All five satellite offices have been closed since March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local lawmakers credit numerous phone calls, emails, and letters from Windham County residents to Gov. Phil Scott and DMV Commissioner Wanda Minoli with getting state officials to reconsider a proposal that would have left the county without in-person access to the DMV.
Rep. Mike Mrowicki (D-Putney), who represents Dummerston as one of the two Windham-4 representatives, pushed hard on the issue.
“The costs are already in the budget, and the building is already in use as the VTrans District offices,” Mrowicki wrote on his personal Facebook page in response to a question from a constituent.
“We're not asking for extra funding,” he wrote.
“Many services can't be done online,” Mrowicki pointed out. “The costs for driving to Springfield, or Montpelier include work time lost, as well as gas/carbon used unnecessarily.”
In announcing the reopening, Scott acknowledged the demand for the satellite offices despite a surge in online registry activity.
“Online registration renewals and replacements have increased by 20 percent, and approximately 50 percent of all license renewals have been completed online since the August 2020 reopening,” the agency said in a news release.
“We know the demand is high and there's value in providing services at these satellite offices,” Scott said in the news release. “The demand for services is exceeding the capacity of the six branch offices, and we've been working to open satellites effectively and efficiently.”
Dummerston office will operate Mondays and Tuesdays
The DMV operates six permanent branch offices in Montpelier, Rutland, Newport, Springfield, Bennington, and South Burlington. Branch offices are open Monday through Friday and have been open throughout most of the pandemic, but by appointment only.
Those offices will continue with that routine, the DMV said, as the system has proven more accommodating for customers and has eliminated busy waiting rooms and long wait times.
Starting Thursday, July 15, Vermonters who wish to do business at the three satellite office locations can make appointments using the DMV's online scheduling system or by calling 888-970-0357.
Those who have an existing appointment at a branch office should cancel it once a new appointment at a satellite office is made.
Satellite office hours will be similar to pre-pandemic office hours. The Dummerston office will be open every Monday and Tuesday, the St. Johnsbury office will be open every Thursday, and the St. Albans office will be open every other Monday and every Tuesday.
Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To schedule an appointment online, visit bit.ly/621-dmv.