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Connecticut begins partially reopening some DMV offices

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) -- The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday partially reopened four of its branches to begin offering in-person licensing and new vehicle registration services by appointment only, the latest in a series of steps toward resuming operations at one of the state’s busiest agencies.

Road testing also resumed Tuesday, in partnership with private driving schools, to reduce a backlog of approximately 1,000 road tests that developed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve now been rescheduled through June 30.

“Who would have thought everybody was missing DMV so much,” joked Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, as he stood outside the Waterbury branch where DMV customers with pre-scheduled appointments waited in their cars until being notified electronically to come inside the building. Branches in Bridgeport, Enfield and New Britain also partially reopened Tuesday for new registration and license services.

New registration services will begin June 30 at the Wethersfield, Willimantic, and Danbury branches. All in-person services, including out-of-state license and registration transfers, and commercial driver’s license upgrades, now require an appointment which can be made online.

Meanwhile, additional locations reopened Tuesday for learner’s permit knowledge tests. Offices in Wethersfield and Cheshire previously opened May 11 as part of a pilot program. Now, the tests will also be offered at offices in Willimantic, Old Saybrook, Norwalk, and Danbury by appointment only.

DMV Commissioner Sibongile “Bongi” Magubane praised DMV staff for their efforts to slowly reopen in a safe way, noting “this journey has not been easy.” She said the agency should be able to start handling more and more walk-in traffic at various branches over the next couple weeks.

“But we needed to start slow because we understand how this pandemic is,” she said. “So we’ve learned a lot in the last three months and we are extremely excited to be in this point.”

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Dave Rinelli

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