Whittier-area residents now must drive a little farther if they want to be licensed to drive. The Whittier Department of Motor Vehicles office has stopped offering licensing services; it conducts vehicle registrations only.
The Whittier location is the first full-service DMV outlet in the state to make the conversion, said Yvonne Blackstone, office manager. A DMV office built to provide vehicle registrations only already operates in Hollywood.
Specifically, there are no driving tests, no driver's license renewals and no identification card services. The office still dispenses driver handbooks and can provide driver records, but there is no staff person to interpret the records.
The change was made both to streamline the operation and because there is a far greater need in the area for registration than licensing, Blackstone said. The Painter Avenue DMV office registers about 330,000 vehicles a year.
Local motorists can still arrange licensing tests at the DMV offices in Montebello, Bell Gardens and Bellflower, all within eight miles of the Whittier facility.