SARANAC LAKE – The Motor Vehicle Department at Harrietstown Town Hall will be open on Tuesdays, starting this week, as Franklin County staff said new hires to the department allowed them to extend their hours recently .
The DMV of the town hall will now be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. by doubling its hours. Since the DMV office in the south end of the county reopened in April after two years of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has only been open on Wednesdays due to low staffing.
City Clerk Sabrina Harrison said the addition of Tuesday hours is good news and residents in the south end of the county hope the DMV will be open more each week.
“People there really appreciated our reopening for Wednesday, but at the same time we are extremely busy on Wednesday and there is always a queue,” he added. said county clerk Kip Cassavaw. “We have more staff, and the staff we have are more advanced in their training, so that allows us to expand a bit and add another day.”
But the county is still looking for more DMV employees because it still doesn’t have enough staff. Cassavaw said the county resigned from a DMV position this week that it is trying to fill.
“It’s hard to find staff” he said.
Currently, local DMV employees travel from Malone.
At the DMV, people can register cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs, and snowmobiles; and manage their insurance defaults. For two years, before the Harrietstown office reopened, local motorists drove to Malone, or North Elba or Elizabethtown in Essex County, to do their DMV business.
The low number of days the Harrietstown DMV is open has been a campaign issue for Franklin County Legislative candidates in Districts 6 and 7, which cover Tupper Lake, Brighton and Santa Clara; and Harrietstown and Franklin, respectively.
Harrison said the lines were especially long at first when the office reopened because spring was the time of year when boat owners registered their boat trailers. Boats must be registered every three years, but boat trailers must be registered annually.