New DMV location leaves customers, local officials fed up - – Rockford’s News Leader

New DMV location leaves customers, local officials fed up


People who use the Auburn Street DMV are angry after finding out their branch is closing and moving 15 miles away.

"We do not accept this," says Victory Bell, a former 5th ward alderman. "And what I say here today I will say to the Secretary. November 11th is coming. We are in a redistricting year and people need to stop playing with the west side."

Normally a new building would be something to celebrate, but because local leaders say the Illinois Secretary of State's office didn't give them any warning, this change is causing problems.

"He's got a huge responsibility," Chuck Jefferson, Illinois State Representative. "He's responsible for the whole state of Illinois, but that doesn't dismiss the fact that we're displacing a whole community because you didn't have the understanding that it was happening in your own office."

The plan is to open a new, larger facility off Baxter Road that will be more convenient for truckers.

But it's outside of city limits, making it harder on some customers to get simple things like state IDs or license plate stickers.

"My pledge to him was to look at a location in Rockford, if this location wasn't going to work for them," Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey says. "Let's have that conversation. I think we can come up with a good solution."

Mayor Morrissey, along with other local leaders, feels disrespected and offended by the fact that they were blind sided by this decision. He says, surprisingly, the Secretary didn't understand how much of an inconvenience this would cause.

"I let the Secretary know in our first conversation how insulted I was to hear from some of his press people that they had made this decision out of concerns of bettering the city of Rockford," Mayor Morrissey says. "And when I told them that's a real stretch because the new location won't even be in the city of Rockford. He was completely blown away by that and unaware of that."

Rockford officials say they have plans to meet with Secretary of State Jesse White to discuss closer locations for at least a driver's testing center and sticker centers.Until September, customers will have to use the State Street branch for regular service, and truck drivers, they'll be heading to Elk Grove Village or West Chicago.

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