PARKERSBURG - The service people receive at the state Department of Motor Vehicles should be a reflection of how well state government should work for the people of West Virginia, the state commissioner of motor vehicles told those gathered to commemorate the opening of the Parkersburg Regional DMV office.
More than 50 people gathered at the new facility, at 627 Lubeck Ave. in Parkersburg, Tuesday afternoon to commemorate the facility. Local and state officials attended, including Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
West Virginia Commissioner of Motor Vehicles Joe E. Miller said changes made within the DMV over the last 15 years have turned the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles into one of the best in the nation.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin speaks during the dedication of the new DMV Regional Office at 627 Lubeck Ave. in Parkersburg.
''All West Virginians enjoy the best motor vehicle service possible,'' he said. ''It is this resolve that brings us here today.''
In March 2011, DMV officials abruptly closed the Parkersburg Regional Office at 3001 Dudley Ave. because of health and safety reasons for employees and residents. The abrupt closure took local residents by surprise. County officials and others secured locations to make sure services continued.
State Auditor Glen B. Gainer III, a Parkersburg resident, said he was in the new building a week ago and was not certain it would be open in one week.
''All that was here was boxes and people,'' he said. ''I thought there would be no way that it would be like this today.''
He credited the staff with a "monumental effort" in getting the office ready so it was able to open for business on Monday.
Tomblin said when he first walked in the door and looked through the building, he was amazed at what has been done.
''There was almost a 'wow' factor when you look at this brand new facility,'' he said.
The governor talked about working with local officials after the abrupt closure of the original office on Dudley Avenue to secure space for DMV services.
''It has really been a community effort,'' he said. ''I know a lot of our constituents were inconvenienced for the past year, but we were doing everything we possibly could to get a brand new facility like this.
''This one will serve the Wood County and the surrounding area very well for many years to come.''
Miller compared the last year to the quest of Jason and the Argonauts searching for the Golden Fleece.
''There were a lot of challenges thrown our way, but we came through on all of those,'' he said. ''Our Golden Fleece was this building.''
During the ceremony, officials unveilled a new veterans' designation of the West Virginia driver's license and the new West Virginia 150th Anniversary state license plate.
The veterans' designation allows people and businesses to recognize veterans for their service to this country, the governor said.
The new license plates will go on sale today.
The DMV remains an important representative of the state in becoming innovators of new technologies and ways of conducting business, Miller said.
''Technology is of no value unless you have people who can put it together and deliver the services we have promised,'' he said.
The state agency has tried to stress six words in dealing with customers: "customer service attitude, customer service delivery."
Miller would like to think if there was a competing DMV across the street that people would return to the one who just served them.
''We have the opportunity to make a statement to more than one million West Virginians each year,'' he said. ''How well we do our jobs will go a long way in shaping the attitudes and opinions of West Virginians toward their state government.
''That is the essence of what we do. We are here only because we serve and work for the people of West Virginia, providing an essential service such as this office. We have established in state goverment something people will appreciate and be proud of.''