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DMV service transfer extends weekly hours


After this week, the Police Department will no longer provide DMV services for the Borough, a move that will allow dispatchers to focus on their primary responsibility. DMV services will transition to Petersburg Vehicle Title and Registration (PVTR), which means extended hours of availability for people needing to take driving exams or looking for an ID card.

The privately-owned business already issues titles and registrations, and Doc Lopez says the move makes sense for both parties.

“It'll be a business that's about its business,” he says. “The Police Department was very excited about being shed of this responsibility.”

Lopez recently retired after 21 years of working dispatch for the Police Department, and he said juggling DMV duties and emergency response calls simultaneously proved extremely difficult.

“There were times I would have to close the window on someone because I had calls coming in to dispatch police, troopers or fire,” Lopez says.

And all that juggling was costing the Police Department time and money.

“It's one less thing that someone needs to be trained at,” Lopez says.

Petersburg police chief Kelly Swihart, couldn't agree more. Swihart says his department operated the service at an estimated annual loss of $3,000 to $5,000.

“The DMV was a service the community needed and we were the ones in the best position to do it,” he says. “It was really the cost of doing business, the cost of providing folks the convenience.”

Swihart says directing business toward the private sector is always positive for the community.

“The primary responsibility of dispatchers is to answer calls and send help,” he says.

PVTR will begin service on Sept. 1, and hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 1-5, which means double the hours of availability for residents. The Police Department operated the DMV on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9-12.

Lopez says providing some services will have to wait until he receives the proper state certification.

“I will have to be certified as a road test examiner,” he says. But license processing and issuance will continue without delay.


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