DMV Just Got A Whole Lot More Crowded

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.

This shot of the Norwalk DMV was taken last February -- when AAA was still providing driver's license renewal and other services.

This shot of the Norwalk DMV was taken last February — when AAA was still providing driver’s license renewal and other services.

(Hat tip: Peter Flatow)

21 responses to “DMV Just Got A Whole Lot More Crowded

  1. Great move, Governor Malloy. You just exposed 160,000 voters to DMV Hell, and I’m sure they’ll show their appreciation next Election Day. And thank God my license doesn’t expire till 2020!

  2. Mary Ruggiero

    That’s the least of his problems getting reelected!

  3. Chip Stephens - Staples 73

    We know the Governor is a moron who has driven the state to the verge of bankruptcy, and the legislators, that the lemming voters return to office, do not seem to care.
    Blame the voters that knew what this team of clowns would result in if re-elected but didn’t care or believe the indifference and pure lack of caring how their inactions would torture their own residents.
    As the lemmings blindly follow the leader off the cliffs, the voters of CT continue to flea the state leaving those left behind facing a growing dark future of debt, likely bankruptcy, and loss of services.
    Angry…… Yep !

    • Bart Shuldman

      Chip. You ‘nailed’ it. CT is in a financial death spiral and the election proved that some voters in Westport just do not care. They voted the so called ‘party’ line who helped keep the House in CT under control by people who look at Westport as their piggy bank. The votes for people who believe taxing is the answer to the budget issues. Maybe these voters like higher taxes and less services. Maybe these voters like to watch as the State cuts education funds to Westport and every other town and city in CT. Maybe these voters enjoyed the news that GE moved out of CT-and so is Thomson Reuters and Rogers Corporation and other businesses. Maybe these voters do not mind paying for state workers who are ‘milking’ the system by working large amounts of overtime their last 3 years and therefore earning $200K yearly pensions.

      Chip-the State of CT is entering a critical junction-the budget deficit is projected to run a $1.5 BILLION deficit. There is NO money left in the rainy day fund to bail the state out of this mess. If real reform
      Is not enacted, then higher and higher taxes are coming. Either state income taxes will rise or property taxes will be increased as Governor Malloy and the leadership in Hartford cut funds to towns like Westport. Watch out for a regional property tax.

      DMV is just one aspect of the poor management and leadership in Hartford. I just spent 9 months trying to help fix CT fiscal crisis by working on the Spending Cap Commission. I can tell you the issue is big and getting worse. And some on both sides of the isle are not helpful and not willing to take on the big issues of pension and OPEB reform.

      Chip-many people in Westport and around CT talk of leaving. Rep Steinberg while on the commission said that was not true, people are not talking about leaving CT. This should give you insight into the politics and lack of understanding to the states problems and the legislatiors willingness or lack of willingness to make the difficult decisions.

      DMV and AAA should have been an easy answer. It helped limit the cost at DMV by allowing those
      Members get some services at AAA. It helped lower the states cost while providing a great service to CT tax payers.

  4. Toni Simonetti

    I renewed my DL today 1/3/17. I was annoyed initially when I saw the DMV note about the AAA. So I walked into DMV At exactly 2:16 to renewed and add the “verified license” option. I walked out with my new lincense in hand at exactly 3 pm. Not quite the Gov’s promised 30 mins, but close.

  5. Sure, take away the best idea the DMV and CT had in 50 years. I think people would pay extra NOT to go to the DMV. Can’t that be an option?

    • Elisabeth Rose

      I agree! Why don’t they simply charge more for non-AAA members? Anyone who hates lines would pay more I would bet…

  6. Self-driving car, anyone?

  7. Just renewed my license thank goodness. That being said, this only covers the AAA offices in New Haven and Fairfield counties. This means if we want fast service at AAA, it can still be done but requires a bit more of a drive. Seems that either Plainville (near Farmington, exit 33 off 84) or Old Saybrook (exit 67 off 95) are the next closest that offer DMV services. I’d happily drive there rather than wait in the long lines at the DMV.

  8. Loretta Hallock

    Honestly, why should the powers that be make things a bit easier on a regular basis ??

  9. Robert Mitchell

    I happened to go to AAA on 12/29. Little did I know…

  10. We the people need to get off the couch and write, call, visit those who are making these choices. It is the only way things will change. As already mentioned the same people get reelected so what is the message they are getting? It all depends on what is the objective. Clearly for our elected officials it isn’t we the people. Westport is in for tough times if we don’t find a way to fight back. The DMV insanity is just the tip of the iceberg.

  11. Elizabeth Thibault

    Negotiations aren’t one sided, both the state and AAA are involved and share the burden of not coming to an agreement. This isn’t across the entire state, this is only for the AAA division that serves Fairfield and New Haven Counties.
    Why were the other AAA offices able to provide the service for this price? We know there is a bigger population here, couldn’t there have been a different price point to support the volume? It doesn’t seem from the statements released by either party that we have the entire story.

  12. Philip M. Perlah

    The problem is voting against Gov Malloy and the Democrats is the alternative — The REPUBLICANS.

  13. Dick Lowenstein

    We have financial problems in Connecticut. That said, it doesn’t help to call elected officials names, as a current Westport elected official did in his ealier comments. After all, some of the decisions he supported on the P&Z Commission could be subject to the same vituperative name-calling, heaven forbid!