When AAA moved its Compo Shopping Center location to Norwalk, Westporters were slightly inconvenienced.
As of this past Sunday, drivers throughout Fairfield County have many more hassles than that.
New Haven County, too.
On December 31, a contract between AAA Northeast — which serves those 2 counties — and the state Department of Motor Vehicles ran out. Because the 2 sides could not agree on new terms, AAA offices no longer offer driver’s license renewals, and other services.
That’s about 160,000 transactions a year, in both counties.
DMW wanted AAA to provide license renewal and similar services to members and non-members alike. That had been the policy — free to members, $5 for non-members — but AAA said that was not enough to cover its costs.
AAA’s services had been a godsend to drivers unwilling — or unable — to brave the long lines at DMV offices in places like Norwalk.
With the start of the new year, those lines got much, much longer.
(Hat tip: Peter Flatow)