Inside INdiana Business has learned an east central Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch is closing. The last day of business at the branch will be determined after a public hearing Monday in Muncie. Inside INdiana Business requested a copy of the letter and received a copy late Friday morning.
The following is the letter BMV Commissioner Donald Snemis sent to Indiana Senator Tim Lanane and Representative Sue Errington:
“I write to inform you that the Bureau of Motor Vehicles has made the decision to permanently close the Albany Satellite Branch and consolidate its operations with the Muncie Branch effective August 27, 2014. Choosing to close a branch is never taken lightly, and I want to share with you the data that has brought the BMV to this decision.
Each Satellite Branch in Indiana is appended to a “Base” branch in the same county. They are essentially supplemental offices open on Wednesday and Friday, whereas the Bases are open during normal BMV branch hours (Tuesday-Saturday). When the Satellites are open, two employees from the Base Branch staff the Satellite Branch. In the case of Albany, the Muncie Branch acts as the Base.
As you may know, the BMV has changed dramatically over the past decade. In 2007, about 85 percent of our transactions were branch transactions. Today, only about half of our transactions are performed in the branches, and the rest are done via the Internet, phone and mail. Our experience in Albany is similar. In FY 2008, the Albany Satellite performed 30,795 transactions. In FY 2014, transactions dropped to 6,419; a reduction of 79.2%. An analysis of the Albany zip code also indicates that over the last two years, when Albany residents do need to complete a transaction with the BMV, only about 29% chose to utilize the Albany Satellite. By contrast, 35% of customers chose to visit a different branch, 22% completed their transaction online, and 14% used U.S mail or our phone system. All this data ultimately designates the Albany Satellite as the least utilized branch in the entire State of Indiana.
The close proximity of the Muncie Branch and the trend toward non-branch options supports closure of the Albany Satellite, as does our financial analysis. The overhead expense of operating the Albany Satellite costs the state approximately $55,000 per year. Thus, by choosing to close the branch, the State of Indiana will save about $550,000 over ten years in overhead expenses. These savings, coupled with the savings the state achieves through utilization of non-branch transactions, will help us keep costs and fees low in the future for all Hoosiers. Please note that no jobs will be lost as a result of this closure as all employees of the Albany Satellite are based out of Muncie or other nearby branches.
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Per Indiana Code § 9-15-2-1(4), the BMV will hold a public hearing, during which we will hear and consider the comments of your constituents. The hearing will begin at 7:00 p.m. on July 28, 2014 in the cafeteria of Delta High School in Muncie. They have asked us to use the west doors facing County Road 200, which is marked by a flag pole. We will have signs posted at main doors to help guide your constituents to the meeting place. Additionally, if you would like to attend, we would be honored to have you.
Maintaining the highest level of service to your constituents and Hoosiers across our state is the first priority of the BMV. I will be out of the office next week, but if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Legislative Director, Alex Miller.
Donald M. Snemis
Source: Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles