Local AAA offices will serve members only for license renewals

Wilton motorists who are not members of AAA have only a few weeks left to take advantage of drivers license renewals at nearby AAA offices.

The Department of Motor Vehicles announced this week it could not reach an agreement with the AAA franchise — AAA Northeast — serving Fairfield and New Haven counties to continue licensing and ID card renewal services after Dec. 31. The agency has been in talks with AAA Northeast after it notified DMV it would stop serving the general public and serve members only beginning in 2017.  

“We hope this AAA franchise will re-consider our proposals, which we feel were fair and workable. In light of this development, we will begin exploring other avenues to maintain access to services for the people of Connecticut,” Commissioner Michael Bzdyra said, adding, “we cannot subsidize a private organization’s provision of DMV services if that organization is not willing to find ways to serve the general public.”

AAA Northeast, currently provides DMV licensing and ID card renewal services free to members and at a fee of $5 to the entire general public, but has sought to offer them only to its paying members beginning in January. The franchise started in 2001 offering these services to the general public.

The remainder of Connecticut is served by AAA Club Alliance, with headquarters in West Hartford, and it will continue to provide services to all members of the general public throughout its eight offices — Avon, Cromwell, Enfield, Manchester, Old Saybrook, Plainville, Waterford and West Hartford — according to Karen Christiana, general manager of AAA Club Alliance.

A press release from the DMV said the state agency served the Fairfield and New Haven county AAA with a notice of default in October after it stopped serving members of the general public in violation of a contract with DMV. This triggered the negotiations around its stance of wanting to serve only members of its dues-paying motor club, DMV said, adding it does not want to reimburse the state the full costs for providing services to dues-paying members only.

Lengthy lines caused by computer malfunctions at DMV caused a surge of people seeking to conduct their motor vehicle transactions through AAA offices.

AAA Northeast said it wants to work with the DMV and offer the services solely to members in 2017.