New NCDMV office aims to alleviate frustrations with obtaining driver’s license, plates

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There’s a new DMV office open in Raleigh that may help eliminate some of the frustration with trying to obtain driver’s licenses, getting plates, or other motor vehicle-related activities.

For years, the driver’s license office, and the state plate agency were in a building in downtown Raleigh which housed the Department of Motor Vehicles main offices.

When the state moved the NCDMV headquarters to Rocky Mount, those two customer service offices had to move somewhere else too.

NCDMV and a state license plate office are now both located in the Wilders Grove Shopping Center on New Bern Avenue, and officials believe it will be a boon to the local economy of that area of Raleigh.

“This is a growing area where we are beginning to experience redevelopment,” said Rep. James Roberson (D-District 39). “These type of wrap around services are important to any area that’s developing.”

The new location occupies over 25,000-square feet of space that used to house a K-Mart at the very end of the strip mall.

There are no outside building signs to say it’s DMV – you must look at the doors where there are cardboard signs taped to them indicating they are DMV offices.

Most contractor-run state license plate agencies are located away from DMV offices as stand-alone facilities.

Even at the new location, however, lines for that license plate office still exist outside the building because of COVID-19 safety protocols which only allow a limited number of people inside at once.

Joel Hardison needed certified drivers record and found himself in that queue.

“We are just going to stand in line and wait our turn,” he said. “It hasn’t been bad, only about 20 minutes and it seems to be going quickly.”

If you’re coming to the NCDMV driver’s license office, you won’t wait in line because you schedule an appointment up to 45 days in advance.

“I’m over on the other side of Raleigh but this is the quickest I could get an appointment over here,” said Jerry Lind. “This is not totally convenient for me, but I got the time I wanted on my day off.”

With more than a dozen examiner stations on the DMV side of the building, CBS 17 wanted to know what that did to wait times.

“It was great, pretty fast, accurate and they were very helpful,” said customer Shontay Hawkins. “I was happy. I wasn’t here long.”

The Wilders Grove Shopping Center location will also do triple duty as a field office for the DMV’s License and Theft Bureau enforcement unit.

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