When the Orange City driver’s license office opens on Wednesday morning, it will be in new hands.
Will Roberts, the first elected collector in Volusia County in 50 years, will assume control of driver licensing services in Orange City from 8 am Wednesday.
“We’re happy to take them back because we believe we can provide great customer service and hopefully change the way people view government service in Volusia County,” said Roberts.
The South Daytona driver’s license office will remain under the control of the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for the time being.
“We plan to take over these services in January,” said Roberts.
The Orange City driver’s license office has been closed since Thursday afternoon to facilitate the transition.
Roberts explained that the temporary shutdown was necessary to reorganize, change the network and security systems, and integrate former state employees into the new procedures.
“It’s definitely a flurry of activity. We have all kinds of contractors there. We have the painters there, we are installing disabled access doors,” Roberts said Monday. “We’re doing all kinds of things just to spruce it up a bit. We’re looking forward to that.”
In 2018, Florida voters passed Amendment 10, which required each of the state’s 67 counties to elect five independent constitutional officers. Volusia County already had a sheriff, election supervisor, court clerk and real estate appraiser, but it was one of three counties without a tax collector.
The county took legal action to avoid the Amendments to Amendment 10, but was overturned by the circuit court. Miami-Dade and Broward counties had until January 2025 to complete their transitions.
The Volusia County collector has an operating budget of $ 10 million for the fiscal year that began on Friday. The county had budgeted about $ 4 million per year for the office before the transition.
Much of the increase in costs has been to fund the cost of supporting driver licensing services, for which the state has mandated them to take responsibility.
The staff budget alone is expected to increase by over $ 4.5 million.
By the time the full resumption of state services is complete, Roberts said they will have 96 employees, a third of whom will be employed in driver’s license offices.
They had 56 on staff in January and have 68 positions today, although six are unfilled. Roberts said the job market is tough right now. Base pay is $ 15.13 per hour.
What awaits the collector?
A busy season is ahead for the tax collector’s office, with property taxes soon due. Roberts was a friendly reminder that anyone who pays Volusia County property tax bills in November will get a 4% discount.
With that in mind, Roberts said he would like to see more people take advantage of the services offered online, which cover many of the simpler needs like renewing labels, tax bills and many licensing needs. To drive.
“We’re definitely encouraging online, but we’re still seeing a lot of people coming in,” he said.
Inside the driver’s license office, it is only for now, although it will be short-lived.
FLHSMV has only been operating both sites since July 1, which has led some residents to complain about queues and long waits.
A representative of the agency did not respond to a reporter before Monday’s deadline.
Holly Smith, spokesperson for the Collector’s Office, said the schedule would open on October 18 to allow scheduling of driver’s license services and appointments, which can be booked for November 1 and beyond .
The driver’s license office is just over a mile and a half from the tax collector’s main office in Orange City, but Roberts said he hopes they’ll be under one roof soon.
Voter registration will continue to be available at the driver’s license office.
“Election supervisors are set up with the state for online voter registration. Having the tax collector take over the offices here will not affect voter registration,” said Lisa Lewis , Volusia County Election Supervisor.
Roberts said he hoped to be able to license concealed weapons to DeLand by the end of the year, but pandemic shipping delays delayed things.
“The equipment is the backlog that we have there,” said Roberts, citing the shortage of chips.
“Commercial real estate in Deltona is hard to come by right now,” he said, promising he remained a priority.
Where to get a driver’s license and register badges in Volusia County
The Volusia County Tax Collector operates in four towns in Volusia County, with each office providing motorist services, taxes, hunting and fishing permits, and disabled parking permits.
The additional services offered are listed below:
- Daytona Beach: 1845 Holsonback Drive. Open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- DeLand: 123 W. Indiana Ave., on the first floor of the County Administration Building. Visit this office for birth certificate services. Open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- New Smyrna Beach: 124 Riverside Drive North. Open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- City of Orange: 2744 Enterprise Road. This location is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is separate from the driver’s license office.
For driver’s license services, two locations are available:
- City of Orange: 2575 S. Volusia Ave. This location will be the responsibility of the collector from Wednesday. Open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Daytona South: 2400 S. Ridgewood Avenue in the Sunshine Park Mall. This location will continue to be operated by FLHSMV. It is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Wednesdays when it opens at 8:30 a.m.
On Nov. 1, the closing hours for all Volusia County tax collector’s offices will change to 4:30 p.m., according to Smith.