The Department of Vehicle and Drivers' Licensing (DVDL) new headquarters at 990 Crewe Road officially opened its doors on Monday, 1 March.
Premier the Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP cut the ribbon to open the building on which construction began one year ago.
Speaking at the opening, Deputy Premier and Works Minister, the Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, JP said that the new facility was necessary to enhance the department's operational efficiency, and she reminded DVDL staff that their duties included acting as ambassadors for the civil service.
Noting that the facility was started by the previous administration and completed by the present government, she said "We must unite around such issues as this is the only way to move our country forward."
Invited to attend by the Deputy Premier, MLA and former Works Minister Arden McLean hailed the government for completing the project. He said that the new facility is expected to ease traffic congestion in central George Town.
DVDL Director David Dixon explained that as of next week, the DVDL will only be operating from two locations - the new Crewe Road Office and West Bay. The Walker's Road office is already permanently closed, while the final day for the office on Elgin Avenue is this Friday, 5 March at midday.
He said that the unprecedented increase in the number of vehicles being licensed in Cayman had required the department to expand its operations to meet that demand and that the new location was ideal.
"It is evident that we must adapt to our developing landscape: 20,602 vehicles had been registered in Cayman Islands to the end of 1997, but by January 2010, this figure rose to 54,745. We also conducted 4078 driving examinations in 2008, including theory and practical examinations," Mr. Dixon said.
He noted that the new facility features several enhanced customer service features, including the Q-matic automated customer service processor system; an automated touch screen for driving examinations; two examination pits for speedier inspections, and facilities for the physically challenged such as a wheelchair ramp and elevator.
The DVDL opening also provided the opportunity to launch its much-anticipated website www.dvdl.gov.ky
Deputy Director Richard Simms explained that the site provides comprehensive data such as how to obtain a driver's licence; how to have vehicles inspected and licensed, and a listing of authorized inspection garages.
Guests at the opening were Cabinet Ministers the Hon. Mike Adam, JP; the Hon. Mark Scotland, JP; the Hon. Rolston Anglin; Opposition Leader the Hon. Kurt Tibbetts and MLAs Captain Eugene Ebanks, Ellio Solomon and Anthony Eden.
Ministry of Works Chief Officer Kearney Gomez; Community Affairs and Housing Ministry Chief Officer Dorine Whittaker, and Works Deputy Chief Officers Leyda Nicholson-Makasare and Tristan Hydes also attended.
Contractor for the facility was Edgewater Construction and project management services were provided by the Public Works Department.
DVDL Office Hours Reminder
The DVDL office hours are as follows: