By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Tax collector Lisa Tuten addressed the Madison County Commission at their May 14 meeting about the possibility of bringing a drivers license service to Madison.
“I’ve been talking about getting a drivers license office here for a long time,” she said. “It’s been a need here for a long time.”
Currently, Madison County residents who need to apply for a drivers license, renew a license, or make an address or name change, have to travel to DMV offices in surrounding counties, or wait for the Florida Licensing On Wheels (F.L.O.W.) Mobile to make periodic stops here in Madison, where it usually spends a few hours in the Winn Dixie parking lot, providing all the same services a brick-and-mortar office would.
Tuten told the County Commissioners that she has been talking to the DMV for quite some time about the possibility of opening up a drivers license service area within the tax collectors office in the Courthouse Annex, and charging a small fee. DMV representatives visited the tax collector’s office to look everything over, and said that the space would need to be renovated to provide extra security.
The new service would be issuing regular drivers licenses only; it would not handle driving tests, CDLs (commercial drivers licenses) or medical drivers licenses, but it would be a service that the residents of Madison currently do not have.
The state would cover the cost of the new equipment needed, but the county would have to pay for the renovations. Will Rutherford had looked at the site and given Tuten an estimate of $50,000 to $60,000 for the kind of renovations DMV requires.
County Coordinator Allen Cherry said that the county would have to bid out the project. Tuten said she could get some bids by June 1, and if the county approved and the work went smoothly, the new service could be up and running by Oct. 1.