PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County Department of Motor Vehicles didn’t get the response it quite expected when it returned to normal operations last month.

“We’ve opened up and doing fine, but business is very slow,” County Clerk John Zurlo said.

“The lines aren’t long at all. It’s a 10-minute wait, at most. Sometimes you can walk right in and walk right out,” he continued.

Zurlo said the DMV has seen an increase in online business, even after it opened its doors for regular operations June 21, when the DMV ditched its appointment-only system it used for months.

“I think because of the pandemic, people have been doing more online [business,]” he said.

“But it’s better to come in our office because we give you your registration or license immediately with no technology problems,” he continued.

The Clinton County DMV was expecting much more foot traffic than it got, partially because of the line of customers it received after reopening last July, when about 150 residents stretched up Margaret Street, nearly reaching Court Street.  

The Essex County DMV has been experiencing about a normal amount of business after seeing an uptick in the first two to three weeks after returning to normal operations.

Either way, Essex County Deputy County Clerk Chelsea Merrihew encourages residents to stay local with their DMV needs, rather than going online.

“We always recommend that they do their work locally because we keep a portion of the money if it’s done here,” she said.

“But I think people will find that always doing stuff locally is better, even if they do it by the mail.”

Zurlo said he expects residents to find the same convenience at the Clinton County DMV as well.

“We’ve got a nice staff. They’re friendly and very communicative with the public,” Zurlo said. “Come and give us a try.”

Email Fernando Alba:

Twitter: @byfernandoalba

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