April 15, 2005 – The Motor Vehicle Bureau was the recipient of a new driver's license printer that top brass says will considerably cut down on the time the public has to wait to renew or obtain their driver's license. The machine was donated by Larry Williams, managing partner of NASCO Corporate Finance Consultants LLC, a St. Croix Economic Development Commission Beneficiary.
Williams said he experienced the same problems that have plagued Virgin Islanders who go to the MVB to get a valid Virgin Islands license. Williams said he was a victim of the long lines and equipment failure. He said he even tried to obtain a driver's license in St. Thomas and was met with the same problems.
"When I first tried to do it, it was broken. It was broken in St. Thomas and it was broken in St. Croix," Williams said. "This is a back up system." Williams said he wants the St. Thomas DMV to have the same option. "I hope an EDC in St. Thomas would take up the flag and say lets do something in St. Thomas," he said.
"We want to thank them for getting us this critical assistance," Jerris Brown, Motor Vehicles deputy chief of operations, said. "When the current printer is broken we have to send people away. This printer will play an important role in assisting the public."
Brown said the department currently has one new printer, both on St. Croix and St. Thomas. "This additional printer will assist in the long term and the short term," Brown said. "When the current printer is broken we won't have to wait, we have a back up system." Brown also said the two printers can be used simultaneously to expedite the process when the demand is great. "This will assist us in increasing our service to the public and improve our efficiency.
Brown said the commissioner has a "get well plan" to fix the problems in the motor vehicle department. He said one of the biggest problems in the department is the lack of data processors to input information. But that situation will improve, too. Brown said the department is getting ready to hire 11 data processors territory-wide; four in St. Thomas, four in St. Croix; and two in St. John. Brown said for the first time supervisors will be hired in St. John.
According to Sgt. Thomas Hannah, police spokesperson, the department issues 10,000 driver's licenses each year. "We have 80,000 total cars registered in the territory," Hannah said.
"50 to 60 drivers licenses are issued each day causing the machine to overheat," Brown added.
Senator Terrance Nelson also attended at the presentation. "This is good news for the department," Nelson said. Nelson said he had been in conversations with Williams and spoke about the possibility of the corporation donating the machine. "This is another example of how partnering with EDC companies can benefit St. Croix," he said.
Novelle A. Francis, Territorial Police Chief, called the donation a "welcome gesture," and that police commissioner Elton Lewis "intends to address the problems" in the MVB.
Hannah said the department is "trying to return" to a higher level of service where the wait time was "less than five minutes."
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