ALEA eyes driver’s license office in Marengo County

Published 2:24 pm Thursday, October 22, 2015

According to published reports, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is looking into the possibility of establishing a full-time driver’s license office in Linden.
The state has faced public scrutiny following budget cuts that forced ALEA to close 31 part-time satellite locations, including those located in the Blackbelt region.
In a statement issued by ALEA, the agency said it is working with Marengo County officials to establish a driver’s license office in Linden that would serve a multi-county area throughout the Blackbelt Region. ALEA officials are working with a Decatur, Alabama company to possibly form a public/private partnership to run the office.
“ALEA is committed to working with local governments and researching new innovative methods to provide the services to Alabama citizens,” ALEA Secretary Spencer Collier said in the statement. “This project is in its infancy but we are excited about the options available with this potential partnership.”
The proposed Linden facility would be open full-time and would offer driver’s license and commercial driver’s license. Currently, Marengo County has a part-time facility.
Governor Robert Bentley is requesting ALEA provide an agent to those rural counties where driver’s license offices are being closed, possibly opening those offices once a month.
“After careful consideration of options regarding the closure of 31 driver’s license offices in Alabama’s rural counties, I have asked that an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency examiner be provided one day a month to service those counties affected. On Thursday, I met with Congresswoman Terri Sewell, who represents eight of the impacted counties, to inform her of my decision. I recognize the closure of the 31 driver’s license offices affects mostly rural areas of the state. To suggest the closure of the driver’s license offices is a racial issue is simply not true, and to suggest otherwise should be considered an effort to promote a political agenda. Alabama has provided numerous options by which citizens can obtain a voter ID, and the closure of the Driver’s License offices should not be seen as a hindrance to someone’s ability to do that. The budget passed by the state Legislature required many executive branch departments to make difficult business decisions regarding how they will allocate their limited resources in Fiscal Year 2016. As the Governor of Alabama, I have the responsibility to run state government within the budget provided by the state legislature.”
The announcement of the driver’s license closure came when $11 million was cut from ALEA’s budget. Marengo County’s part-time driver’s license office was not among those to be cut, but those in adjacent counties were included.

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