When Fairfax Commissioner of the Revenue William Page Johnson II went to register an out-of-state vehicle at the Fair Oaks branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) last year, it took him three hours to do it.
After talking to Stephen Moloney, Fairfax's City Treasurer, they decided to explore the possibility of creating a DMV licensing agency in Fairfax City that could handle limited tasks. With the help of Del. J. Chapman Petersen (D-37th), the three are now poised to open a licensing agency at City Hall.
"It gives us the opportunity to serve the people at a much smaller capacity," Moloney said at Tuesday's Fairfax City Council meeting.
The Council approved a resolution designating Moloney and Johnson as DMV licensing agents and authorized a contract between the city and the DMV to allow them to perform limited DMV functions and services.
Effective July 1, Fairfax residents will be able to receive services as registering and titling their vehicles, and renewing tags. The DMV will provide the city with equipment, and the city will earn 3.5 percent of the fees it processes.
This "is a significant opportunity for the City of Fairfax," Moloney said.
Moloney and Johnson had visited licensing agencies in rural Virginia and thought the concept would work well in Fairfax because its computers are already connected with the DMV's system. The city currently requires new residents to register their cars as personal property.
"We became convinced this concept would work in Virginia," Johnson said.
For a while, the proposal seemed in jeopardy as DMV offices opened and closed over the past year. The Fair Oaks office will be the last of the closed offices to re-open on July 1.
"I'm glad to see that we've finally come full circle," said Petersen, who had been working nine months on the project with Johnson and Moloney.