The downtown Anchorage office of the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be closing its doors for good at the end of March.


DMV director Marla Thompson said it’s not a matter of budget cuts as much as cost efficiencies. She said the office wasn’t serving enough customers to justify keeping it open.


“They take about 60,000 people a year,” Thompson said. “We can handle that at our Benson location. We can add to our current staff and just be a lot more efficient and be able to process customers faster.”


Thompson said closing the office will save the state about $280,000 a year. She added that no one will lose their jobs, as employees at the downtown office will be transferred to the Benson Boulevard location.


As for processing customers faster, Thompson said they’re already making progress on that front. She said the average wait time at the Benson office in 2015 was 32 minutes. In 2017, it looks to be under 10. Thompson said people can cut their wait times by scheduling same-day appointments online or by calling 334-0899.


In addition, Thompson said, many of the DMV’s services are offered online, including license renewal, ordering plates and obtaining copies of driving records.


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