The Springvale Bureau of Motor Vehicles office will likely not be reopening until mid-November. According to Kristen Muszynski, Communications Director for the Secretary of State’s office, a decision on a reopening date will be made after October 20.
In the meantime, the Kennebunk office, which is currently open by appointment only, will begin accepting walk-in traffic after September 29. The closest office that currently takes walk-in traffic is in Scarborough, where lines are reportedly three hours long or more. Some Sanford residents are driving to the Portland or Topsham offices, where lines are shorter.
At the Municipal Operations and Property Subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, September 15, there was some discussion of the possibility of offering full-service car registrations at Sanford City Hall. City Clerk Sue Cote explained that her office does not have sufficient staff for this to happen, particularly with all the extra work involved with the upcoming election. City Manager Steven Buck added that lack of secure storage place for license plates might also be an issue.
City Councilor Maura Herlihy expressed concern that the BMV may make further attempts to regionalize operations, which could result in the Springvale office being permanently closed at some point. She recommended that City Hall staff get the needed training just in case that happens, so that residents would not be left without a local option for an extended period of time, as has happened this year. Mayor Tom Cote responded that city officials need to know the state’s long-term plans before diving into this, but agreed that an alternative may be needed.