For the next few months, and possibly longer, Hayden residents who need new drivers' licenses should plan on traveling west to Craig, or east on a Wednesday to Steamboat.
The Steamboat Springs Driver's License Bureau closed Sept. 26 when the only employee of the one-person office resigned. Beginning this week, it will be open on Wednesdays only, said Jan Welling, field operations manager for the Colorado Drivers License Administration Division.
Welling stressed that the Steamboat office's closure is temporary and was necessary because of the staffing problem and is not related to the recent set of permanent bureau closures the Colorado Motor Vehicle Division was forced to make because of budget cutbacks.
The state is searching for a new employee to operate the office in Sundance Plaza and will begin advertising the position locally next week, Welling said. The state is advertising the job publicly and looking within for an employee who may be interested in transferring to Steamboat, but Welling acknowledged that the cost of living in Steamboat may make it difficult to get someone hired as quickly as she would like.
It will take a minimum of several months for someone to be hired and adequately trained to run the one-person office, she said. In all likelihood, though, the Steamboat bureau will not immediately return to a full-service bureau after it is staffed. People seeking to have their licenses reinstated after a suspension or revocation, for example, will have to travel elsewhere for that service, Welling said.
Until a Steamboat employee is hired and trained, office hours elsewhere in Northwest Colorado have been shuffled to accommodate the Steamboat situation. Bureaus in Rangely and Meeker have been cut back from being open one day a week to one day a month. The cutbacks will allow an employee to travel to Steamboat weekly and will allow the Craig office to be open two additional days each month to help accommodate the extra business coming from Routt County, Welling said.
Beginning Oct. 15, the Sundance Plaza office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, with a one-hour midday closure for the employee's lunch break.
The Craig office, at 555 Breeze St., is open from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.