New state-of-the-art 'green' facility can expect to see tens of thousands of customers per month

Starting this week, New Castle County residents can deal with their license and other automotive issues in state-of-the-art style.

On Monday, June 16, numerous state and area dignitaries turned out to officially cut the ribbon on the county’s brand new Department of Motor Vehicles facility in Delaware City.

The new LEED certified building replaces the old location off Churchman’s Road in New Castle, which was built in 1965 and has seen numerous modifications and expansions over the years.

Officials estimate that the new building’s proximity to Middletown, Bear and communities along the Route 40 and 72 corridors, will likely lead to an increase in the 35,000 residents that are currently seen on a monthly basis.

DMV director Jennifer Cohan said that the administration was very proud of the new flagship facility, which she added was brought in on time and on budget.

Gov. Jack Markell said that he enjoyed visiting the DMV facilities because of the positive attitude of the workers he encounters there.

“The DMV is the one place that every Delawarean has to deal with, so it’s really important that we put our best foot forward,” Markell said. “Especially … in terms of the people that work here.”

US Sen. Tom Carper recounted his experience as a new Delawarean looking for a DMV facility in Wilmington that has long since become a public library.

“I’d been in Delaware a week,” he said. “I found Wilmington, and I tried to find that DMV. And I tried. And I tried. And I tried … they didn’t make it easy (to find), and then when you got there, they were unfriendly.”

It’s a 180 degree switch from the customer service he said the DMV now provides on a regular basis, adding that when he opened a facility on Route 13 as governor, he requested the first thing one sees when one enters the building is a customer service desk.

“And we’re going to have a great one here, and we’re going to provide terrific service,” he said.

“The DMV in a lot of other states is a kind of a … punchline for a bad experience with government,” said Lt. Governor Matt Denn. “It’s not that way here, because of just extraordinary efforts that are made every day by the people who work here.”

Department of Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt said that while it’s difficult for him to lose his temper, experiences with DMVs in other states have brought him as close as possible.

The difference between those states and Delaware, he added, is that the workers genuinely care about helping their customers – a trait that’s handed down from top administrators like Cohan.

“Jenn has created that culture, and I can’t say too many good things about that,” he said.

Wohlsen Construction Vice President Mike Berardi said that the new facility is a model of teamwork, with the project coming together on time and on budget despite differing opinions and arguments along the way.

“You’ve got six government agencies, four different design teams, and 32 different trade partners, all working as one seamless group to finish the job,” he said. “Oh and by the way, let’s put in the fact that we had the worst winter in recordable history.”

The 41,000-square-foot building, is located at 2101 Mid County Drive, New Castle.