The Town of Lovettsville may step up to offer vehicle owners an alternative to typically long lines at area DMV offices.
Vice Mayor Christopher Hornbaker has been leading the exploration of establishing a DMV Select service at the newly expanded Town Office.
Western Loudoun’s current DMV Select office in Purcellville closed June 30. For the past 18 years, the service has been hosted by Virginia Regional Transit. However, VRT is expected to move its operations out of Purcellville later this year. With the new U.S. Census figures, Loudoun County is unlikely to continue to qualify for rural transit funding provided by the federal government. That would force the nonprofit to halt most of its Loudoun operations and likely to move its headquarters into its core service area to Loudoun’s south.
Hornbaker said that, so far, no other town has shown interest in keeping the service going.
Operating the DMV Select office in Lovettsville would require the conversion of a room, currently planned for a supply room/copy center or a future planning and zoning office, into an office with two customer windows. The office would be staffed by three part-time employees.
Hornbaker said the project would cost about $12,800 for set up and have an annual expense of $53,000. However, first-year revenues are projected at $60,000, providing a profit that would augment the town’s General Fund.
Town Manager Samuel Finz said such an operation would be outside the typical municipal government activities.
“We are starting a business here,” he said. “Overall, this is a business venture.”
Council members expressed support for the idea.
“This is a service the town wants to offer,” Mayor Nate Fontaine said.
Councilwoman Renee Edmonston warned that a Lovettsville location might not draw as much traffic as Purcellville. But even if it generated only a small profit, it would be a great service for residents.
Councilman Tony Quintana said they could be underestimating the potential of the service, noting that in the past he has driven as far as McLean for DMV services.
Hornbaker said he would want assurances that no other office could be set up nearby, suggesting the town seek a 25-mile radius exclusivity guarantee.
The council voted unanimously to direct the staff to negotiate an agreement with DMV, subject to favorable terms for the town.
DMV Select offices typically offer titling services, registrations, license plates, trip or overload permits, handicapped parking placards, voter registration applications, driver transcripts and address changes not requiring the issuance of a driver’s licenses or ID card.