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STATE: NC DMV headquarters shift out of Raleigh almost complete

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The relocation of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles headquarters from Raleigh to Rocky Mount is almost complete.

DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup told a legislative commitee on Thursday that the final office shifts will be completed by Dec. 19. The move-ins began in July. Almost 500 positions are being relocated.

The General Assembly told DMV in 2018 to move out of its longtime but neglected headquarters on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh and to look at leasing new offices in Wake or surrounding counties. The state is leasing five buildings that used to house the Hardee’s fast-food chain offices.

The license plate agency and dealer services within the Raleigh headquarters — along with about 50 workers — will remain in the city. The Rocky Mount headquarters won’t provide these and other in-person services to the public. Jessup will keep offices in both Raleigh and Rocky Mount.

Jessup said state and local officials are trying to address a 27 percent vacancy rate for headquarters positions. It’s likely that many departing workers didn’t want to relocate to Rocky Mount or commute from the Raleigh area. He told lawmakers about virtual and social media recruitment efforts to fill positions.