INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – For the last two months in Vero Beach and the last month in Sebastian, the Indian River County Tax Collector has been churning out drivers’ licenses at the branches.
The new service came just in time for employees to be trained on the equipment as state rules for licenses went into effect Jan. 1 that require drivers to provide more documentation before receiving their licenses.
“It’s quite a lot of training for staff,” said Tax Collector Carole Jean Jordan, who set up the main branch located in the County Administration complex on Nov. 1 so staff would have time to train. On Dec. 1, the Sebastian branch began offering license renewals. Come late January or early February, the West branch – located east of Interstate 95 in the Ameritrend Commerce Park – is expected to also issue licenses.
The new service means Indian River County residents needing to change the address on their license or need to renew it do not have to make an appointment at the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles office on US 1 in Vero Beach.
“This is definitely more convenient,” said customer Dorothy Davies at the Sebastian branch. She had gone to one of the Vero Beach offices to get her license but was told the wait would be shorter in Sebastian.
First-time drivers who need to take the driving test before receiving their licenses must still go through the state office.
Jordan said that she hopes to offer the written portion of the test at the Sebastian branch some time in the future.
But for now, the employees are still getting used to offering the service.
“They’re kind of getting their feet wet,” Jordan said.
Jordan said she has been working for the last several months to get the state’s approval to offer the licensing and had to wait for the state to work out the budget.
Along with wanting to offer more places for residents to get their licenses, Jordan said she wanted to be ready if and when the Florida DMV closes its US 1 office.
“We’re kind of getting ahead of it,” Jordan said.
It cost the Tax Collector’s Office about $48,000 to equip each branch, according to Jordan.
“The equipment is not cheap by any means,” she said, explaining that just the printer that crafts the license costs $11,000.
“It was an investment,” she said.
The branches have to have backup equipment, as well, including an extra camera and printer.
“They’re not the most dependable thing,” Jordan said.
To that end, the tax collector said she hopes customers who come to any of the branches to renew or replace their licenses come with patience.
“We’re not fast,” she said, “but we’re pleasant.”
Jordan also said that while customers are there to take care of their licenses, they can also register to vote – a process that takes just a couple moments.
To learn more about what you need to renew your license, visit www.GatherGoGet.com.
Phone: (772) 226-1338On the Web: www.irctax.comMain Office: 1800 27th St., Building B, County Administration Complex, Vero BeachWest Branch: 1860 82nd Ave., Suite 102, Ameritrend Commerce Park, Vero BeachSebastian Branch: 11610 US 1, Suite 1, Sebastian
A statement from a parent, step-parent or legal guardian of an applicant. The parent or guardian must reside at the same residence address, accompany the applicant and present “Proof of Residence Address”