Billings West Driver License Station to Close Wednesday
HELENA – Motor Vehicle Division Bureau Chief Anita Drews-Oppedahl announced Monday that the Billings West driver license station at Lamplighter Square will close at the end of business Wednesday, June 26. The closure comes as the Department of Justice trims its budget in the face of a shrinking statewide budget surplus.
“This is certainly regrettable,” Drews-Oppedahl said. “We knew one of the Billings stations would have to close and we opted to keep the Billings Central site open.” The Central office is located at 615 S. 27th Street and shares the Justice Building with other DOJ agencies.
Drews-Oppedahl said the closure of the West office will save MVD about $39,000 annually, most of it related to rent and computer and telephone networking. The cuts also mean that 1.75 open full-time clerk positions will not be filled. Four employees will shift to the Billings Central station.
The West office is among the busiest in the state, issuing 14,814 driver licenses during calendar year 2001. Altogether, MVD issued about 22,000 licenses in Billings last year and statewide, the MVD issued 136,691 driver licenses.
“We understand we need two stations in Billings,” Drews-Oppedahl said, “but budget cuts forced us to make a difficult decision. We’re confident we’ll have adequate staff to handle the increase in customers at the Central station.”
Drews-Oppedahl said the Central office will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily for renewals only. She also reminded Montana drivers that they may renew their licenses at any station in the state. It is not mandatory for a driver to use the license station in his or her hometown or county. Also, drivers may renew licenses any time in six-month period prior to the renewal date.