Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25: South and West Broward Need More Driver License Offices

By Sylvia Gurinsky

A few days ago, Bill Kaczor of the Associated Press wrote an article about how Florida is trying to shorten waiting times for residents trying to get or renew licenses following expanded requirements for identification.

In southern and western Broward County, the answer should be a few new drivers license offices.

Right now, residents of Hallandale, Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Pembroke Park, Southwest Ranches and West Park have just one full-service office in their area, on the corner of Pembroke Road and University Drive in Pembroke Pines. There are always heavy lines.

Another facility has opened at the American Automobile Association office west of Interstate 75 on Pines Boulevard, also in Pembroke Pines. It's a start at relieving the lines, but written and driving tests aren't given there.

Development of drivers license offices in Broward hasn't kept up with the population growth into those communities, Weston or Coral Springs. A look at the list of full-service offices shows that they seem to have stopped somewhere in 1969, when much of Broward's population lived in the eastern parts of the county. Other than the Pembroke Pines offices, Broward's only other drivers license office location west of Florida's Turnpike is in Lauderhill.

Whoever represents Broward in next year's Florida Legislature needs to make that point to their budget-writing colleagues and whoever becomes governor. It's time to move the county's drivers license services into the 21st century.

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