The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be closing various branch offices for four days each to make computer upgrades and provide related employee training.
One of the first offices to be impacted will be Bridgeport, which will be shut to the public from Feb. 17 to 20.
Two offices each week will be shut while employees receive training on how to operate a new computer system. The offices will keep their normal half-day Saturday operations during the weeks when they are closed to the public from Tuesday through Friday.
“We are alternating the closings to avoid major inconveniences that could come with shutting all offices for one week,” said newly-appointed DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr.
“This new system, when up and running, will bring many more customer service benefits than we have now,” Ayala said.
The new system should allow more online services to be offered to the public.
The DMV’s aging computer systems are 40 to 50 years old and lack connections with each other to deliver cost-effective and efficient services to our customers, according to DMV officials.
Office closing schedule
The following is the closing schedule:
Feb. 17–20: Bridgeport and Norwalk offices, and the Stamford photo license center that is by appointment only.
Feb. 24–27: New Britain and Enfield offices
March 3–6: Willimantic and Norwich offices, and the Putnam satellite office.
March 3–13: Waterbury and Danbury offices, and the Winsted satellite office.
March 17–20: Hamden and Old Saybrook offices
March 24–27: Wethersfield office
While two offices will close each week, one of them will continue to handle only learner’s permit test appointments. These comprise one of the highest-in-demand services DMV offers.
Customers are advised to check the agency website (www.ct.gov/dmv) for any updates before going to a branch office.
With these office closings, DMV is advising customers to:
— Don’t wait to renew. Do it now.
— Renew vehicle registrations by mail or online if eligible.
— Go to the nearest AAA office for license renewals to avoid lines (details at www.ct.gov/dmv/AAA).
One major benefit from the computer change over will be additional vehicle registration services available on the web.
Future online transactions will include:
— Improving the existing online registration renewal program.
— Online checking for items, such as unpaid property taxes, lack of insurance and delinquent parking violations, which can hold up a registration renewal and cause repeat trips to DMV.
— Reprinting a registration certificate from a home or other computer.
— Canceling a registration online.
— Ordering online special plates, such as vanity plates.
— Ordering online replacements for mangled plates.
— Providing customers with an option for DMV to contact them either by mail or e-mail.
The modernization of DMV’s computers has also paved the way for several other changes. Online services offered already include:
— Learner’s permit testing by appointment.
— Real-time connections to DMV for leasing companies and car dealerships wanting to register vehicles purchased or leased by their customers.
— Checking driver’s license status.
— Viewing wait times at DMV offices.
— Filling out a vehicle registration form at home and printing it.
— Car dealers being able to renew their business licenses.
— Canceling lost or stolen license plates.
— Registration renewals for vehicle owners who have no outstanding obligations, such as delinquent property taxes, late emissions tests, unpaid parking tickets or other kinds of issues prohibiting renewal.
— International Registration Plan (IRP) renewal payments for trucking companies.
— Registration status checks.
— Vanity plate availability.