Driver license offices will not be closing

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

By Andrew Garner


The two Escambia County driver license offices will not be closing, officials said Tuesday.

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Last week, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency announced a phased approach for the closure of the offices throughout the state if the legislature doesn’t fund the agency.

During the first two quarters of 2015, ALEA examined the core functions of each legacy agency and determined the driver license system was inefficient and archaic. In July, Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier announced a series of technology-based improvements, which will result in more efficient service and shorter wait times for citizens of the state, including online scheduling, online driver license renewals, self-serve kiosks, digital licensing for smart phones and statewide equipment upgrades, according to ALEA.

“Currently, ALEA maintains 75 Driver License district and field offices across the state but budget allocations do not cover costs and we operate with an $8.2 million deficit,” Collier said. “During the 2015 regular and first special sessions, the legislature proposed general fund budget cuts ranging from 22 percent to 47 percent from ALEA’s fiscal year 2015 appropriation. Should the legislature pass devastating budget cuts, it will be necessary for the Licensing Division to close Driver License district and field offices statewide.”

Officials with the county probate judge’s office, which issues the driver licenses, said that the offices in Atmore and Brewton will not be closing. Instead, the state examiners offices in the Atmore and Brewton city halls will be closing.