March 12, 2013

All AAA offices in Maine can now renew licenses

The auto club can do state IDs and basic driving license renewals, expanding a program begun last year.

Maine motorists will now be able to renew their driving license at any Maine branch office for AAA Northern New England.

The automobile club is offering the service as part of an agreement between the club and the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Last year, AAA began offering basic driver license and state identification card renewal and replacement services at its branch offices in Portland, Watervile, Bangor and Augusta.

Starting on Wednesday, AAA will offer the same service at its remaining branch offices in Ellsworth, Brunswick, Auburn, South Portland and Biddeford.

The services are available to both AAA members and the general public.

The services are only available to United States citizens, and branch offices can only do basic renewal and will not be able to make changes to current credentials.

The automobile club is offering the service at no cost to the state and will pass on all the money it receives from motorists to Bureau of Motor Vehicles, according to its agreement with the state.

The automobile club is providing the service to benefit its 370,000 members in Maine, said AAA spokesman Pat Moody.

"We are not making money of it," he said. "It's a benefit our members find has a lot of value -  to be able to come into the automobile club and have their license renewed." Unlike the DMV offices, the AAA branches are open on Saturday.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said he credits his Republican predecessor, Charlie Summers, for establishing the partnership with AAA. Summers was secretary of state last during the first two years of the Gov. Paul LePage administration.

"His team did that," Dunlap said of Summers. "We just carried the baton forward."

Dunlap said the partnership between the state and AAA will help his department reach its objective of improving customer service. Getting more people to renew their license at AAA will have another benefit: shortening lines for more complex transactions at DMV offices, he said.

AAA branch office business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at

tbell@pressherald.com

 

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