License plate agency closes

Published 9:26 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

Workers at the Yadkin County license plate agency knew something was up on Monday morning.

The lines were long – much longer than usual.

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles license plate agency in Mocksville closed last week, as 37-year employee Pat Bowers retired. A replacement has not been named.

Davie County Manager Mike Ruffin told county commissioners Monday evening he was somewhat surprised when he learned last week that a date for opening a replacement office hadn’t been named. While it is a state agency, it is a contracted office, and the person who had applied didn’t meet requirements.

The state is doing a background check on a second candidate. Even if that person passes requirements, it would be near the end of the year or the beginning of next year before a local office is opened again.

In the meantime, county officials are going over numbers to see if the county could operate the office, similar to what is being done in Yadkinville by Yadkin County. Ruffin said that after expenses that include two employees, the Yadkin office is making about $21,000 per year.

“I hate the fact our citizens are being inconvenienced,” Ruffin said. “The wise thing for us to do is to proceed with our analysis.”

He said he didn’t want to compete for the office with private individuals, but if the second candidate is turned down, the county will consider taking over, pending approval of county commissioners.