Brewton license office no longer manned, still can get renewals

Published 2:30 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015

By Stephanie Nelson

The Brewton Standard

There was good news and bad news for Escambia County as a wave of state office closures were announced this week by Governor Robert Bentley’s office.

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On Wednesday, it was announced the Brewton driver’s licenses office located inside the Escambia County Courthouse would no longer be manned. That does not impact the renewal process, which is handled through the county probate office.

“This only impacts the testing site,” said Chief Probate Clerk Natalie Rodgers. “You can still get your driver’s license renewed or get a duplicate copy if needed.”

The Atmore location, which is found inside city hall, remains open and allows for testing each Wednesday from 8 a.m. and noon and from 1-3 p.m.

Commission Chairman David Stokes said he was saddened to learn of the closure.

“Being on the county commission and knowing where the consideration for the revenue shortfalls occur, I can understand some of the state’s decisions,” Stokes said. “But, in my opinion (the closure) is a disservice to the people of this community.”

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill released a statement Thursday regarding the closure of the 31 Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Offices and how it will effect citizens being able to acquire the proper voter I.D.

“The closure of 31 DMV offices will not leave citizens without a place to receive the required I.D. card to vote,” said Secretary Merrill. “All 67 counties in Alabama have a Board of Registrars that issue photo voter I.D. cards. If for some reason those citizens are not able to make it to the Board of Registrars, we’ll bring our mobile I.D. van and crew to that county. By October 31 our office will have brought the mobile I.D. van to every county in Alabama at least once. One of the most fundamental rights we as Americans are afforded is our right to vote. As Alabama’s Secretary of State and Chief Elections Official, I will do everything within my power to ensure every Alabamian is able to exercise their right to vote.”

On Thursday, residents learned that the county’s National Guard armories were not among the six slated for closure.

Citing “years of funding shortfalls,” the six are in addition to 15 that were to be closed and consolidated between 2014 and 2017 as part of a 25-year master plan and include those in Huntsville, Winfield, Alexander City, Demopolis, Marion, and Eufaula.

“Over the past six years, the Alabama National Guard has identified over $100 million dollars of deferred maintenance, repair, and modernization requirements for facilities constructed from 1950 to 1990 that fail to meet the Army’s mission requirements of quality, quantity and mission support,” the guard announced in a press release.