Chapel Hill News

Chapel Hill license plate agency opens East Franklin Street office

The town’s new license plate agency opened for business Tuesday in a storefront at 1704-B E. Franklin St.

The new agency, located near Staples and the Blockbuster video store, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 919-942-4972.

The new office replaces one that closed at University Mall when the manager was charged last year with embezzling $4,280 in state money. The new office is managed by Bruce Farmer, of Calvary Management, which also operates the DMV office on N.C. 55 in Durham.

License plate agencies provide vehicle registration and title services, plus vehicle license plate renewals, replacement tags and duplicate registrations. There are about 120 privately operated license plate agencies across North Carolina. Contractors complete a three-week class before hiring staff and installing the equipment, DMV spokeswoman Marge Howell said.

The University Mall office had been open since 1989. Orange County car owners have had to drive to Durham, Burlington and Siler City since it closed, because Orange County’s other DMV offices in Carrboro and Hillsborough only handle driver’s license issues.

Howell said it took nearly a year to reopen the office, because DMV officials had to make sure it would be financially feasible before advertising the contract. Howell said she does not know how the previous manager’s embezzlement case was resolved.