ALEA explores partnership in Marengo County for driver license funding shortfalls

MONTGOMERY, Ala — On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier, along with members of the Marengo County Economic Development Board, Marengo County Commission, Marengo County Probate Judge, Linden Police Chief, Linden Industrial Development Authority, and other officials, met with ESD School, LLC., an Alabama based company that is licensed through the Alabama Community College System, to explore the feasibility of a public-private partnership for a CDL training facility and a full service driver license office in Linden, Ala.

Since 2008, the General Fund appropriation to state law enforcement has been cut from $87 million to $44 million. Additionally, proactive efforts to recoup the cost of producing a driver license were negated by the Alabama Legislature leaving Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) with 103 vacancies in the Driver License Division and without the necessary funding to fill the vacancies.

Advancements in technology have provided citizens the ability to renew online, schedule appointments, and statewide equipment upgrades allow probate judges and License or Revenue Commissioners to renew STAR IDs and conduct other services that were previously only performed at Driver License Offices.

“Statutorily, first issuances of an Alabama Driver License must be administered at an ALEA Driver License office. Continuous budget cuts have resulted in staffing issues that are causing longer wait times for citizens as well as the recent reallocation of personnel from satellite locations to district offices,” said Collier.

“My staff and I are exploring a variety of ways to improve and optimize customer convenience with our services. We have begun discussions with Marengo County officials and a private, Alabama-based company to bring a CDL training facility and full-service driver license office to Alabama’s Black Belt. ALEA is committed to working with local governments and researching new innovative methods to provide the services to Alabama citizens. This project is in its infancy but we are excited about the options available with this potential partnership.”

“We are very excited about the possibility to be a part of the solution that is needed for the State,” said Marengo County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Brenda Tuck.

“We are at a place in time that we all must think outside of the box to find solutions for the issues that we face.  I applaud the Secretary, ALEA’s Chief Information Officer Kevin Wright, and the many people in the Secretary’s Office that have been working on this. This project can be a great benefit to the citizens of all of our counties and we look forward to continued progress that will make it much more accessible for the public.”

More information about the potential partnership will be release by ALEA as it becomes available.