Bill calls for sweeping changes at DMV - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Bill calls for sweeping changes at DMV

(Columbia) Feb. 6, 2003 - Long lines were familiar sights last summer after the implementation of a new computer system at Division of Motor Vehicle offices around the Palmetto State. Lines and waiting times have shrunk somewhat since then, but lawmakers are introducing a new bill Thursday calling for sweeping changes inside the division.

Richard Corbin needed a registration and decal for his new car, "I came to pay my taxes on the car." He started at the DMV, but they sent him to wait in line at the Richland Treasurer's Office, "Oh, it's ridiculous."

He was far from done, because next he was back into the car and on the road to the DMV five miles away, where he waited again, "It's a lot of time consuming."

Republican leaders say when it comes to stickers and registration, you should be able to skip the DMV altogether and get all your work done in one shot at your county treasurer's office.

House Speaker David Wilkins unveiled a reform bill on Thursday with broad recommendations, "DMV has been like the red-headed stepchild. Now it will be a stand-alone with direct command and accountibility." The bill would make the DMV report directly to the governor and contract out with driver education schools so they would give driving tests and not the DMV. Lawmakers say you should renew your license every ten years and not every five.

DMV is currently a part of the Department of Public Safety. As a Cabinet agency, the director would be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

Corbin, still waiting at the DMV, likes those ideas, "I would love that. I would love that."

The House Republican bill has a lot of backing and contains a lot of the same ideas Governor Mark Sanford likes, so it could speed through the process. Leaders are looking at DMV's structure, but they have not said very much about what may be the agency's biggest problem, which is money and budget cuts.

by Lisa Goddard
Updated 10:18pm by BrettWitt with AP

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