Bernardy introduces legislation to open new DMV in New Brighton

Residents of New Brighton have a few options when it comes to renewing their driver’s licenses — heading over to Roseville, Columbia Heights, Blaine, Arden Hills, or downtown St. Paul — but none that are particularly close to home or convenient. 

The suburb does have a small license bureau in City Hall, which offers many services that any Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles (DVM) or Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) office has, such as motor vehicle title transfers, registration tabs, fish and game licenses, watercraft, snowmobile and ATV licenses, replacement plates and more. But it does not offer services to renew driver’s licenses.

That may now change.

State Rep. Connie Bernardy, DFL-New Brighton, introduced a bill in the Legislature Jan. 10 that would provide New Brighton the authority to open and operate a full-service driver licensing office. 

According to Bernardy, as it stands, New Brighton is not able to have a DMV because there are already DMVs “within 10 minutes” from the city. 

“I am setting up a meeting with state officials and New Brighton to go over the ins and outs, and address issues that might arise,” Bernardy said in an interview, noting any time changes are proposed to state law, pushback is possible. 

According to the bill, the limited driver’s license office in New Brighton’s City Hall would simply be able to add a full-service license counter.

Bernardy said New Brighton city officials approached her on this matter, saying residents have been asking for the amenity. 

“Adding a full-service location in our district where residents can renew their driver’s licenses and purchase their tabs and license plates, will help our community as well as reduce long wait times at surrounding DMVs,” Bernardy said.

According to Bernardy, the city would handle the financial details once the bill is passed, but she noted that the DMV would receive money for processing transactions from the state.

“New Brighton has received letters from many of the surrounding DMVs in support of New Brighton starting a full-service DMV,” Bernardy said. 

The bill — HF 94 — is awaiting a hearing by the Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee, on which Bernardy is the DFL minority leader.

 

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815.

 

 

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