Photo by Sydney Cromwell.
Jefferson County Satellite Office
(L to R) Jefferson County Commission Chief of Staff Othell Phillips, Office Manager Jennifer Woods and County Revenue Director Travis Hulsey study plans for the future satellite office.
The only thing worse than the line at the DMV is the drive there, and Hoover residents could soon avoid one of those problems.
Once the new Jefferson County satellite office opens, it will allow county residents to renew driver’s licenses and obtain or renew business licenses without the hassle of driving to downtown Birmingham or Bessemer.
The satellite office has begun construction in Hoover Court Town Center on U.S. 31 and should be fully operational by Nov. 1, according to the Jefferson County Commission. County Revenue Director Travis Hulsey said the office could begin offering services by late October.
It will replace the temporary office currently at the Met, where residents of the Hoover area can buy new vehicle tags, obtain boating licenses and fill out vehicle title applications. The new location will continue these services, with the addition of driver’s and business licenses.
“It will be a full-service satellite office, offering the same services you can get at the downtown Jefferson County Courthouse,” Hulsey said.
Jennifer Woods, the manager of the Met office, will continue her role at the satellite office. The satellite office will neighbor Green Valley Drugs and Hoover Florist. Hulsey said the landlord is currently doing the buildout on the facility and will be reimbursed by the county.
“Construction is going good and should be finished by mid-September, then a millwork company will come in and build our counters,” Hulsey said. “After we get the certificate of occupancy, our employees should start moving in by mid-October.”
Hulsey said the satellite office will be more accessible and more comfortable for Hoover area residents than the Hoover Met location, which has only five service windows.
The Hoover Court Town Center satellite office will have 16 windows — 13 for vehicle tags, title registrations and boat renewals, two for driver’s license renewals and one for business license renewals. There will be separate queues for driver’s licenses and other services.
It will also have inside seating for approximately 100 people, unlike the Hoover Met satellite office, which only has an outside canopy. This will make the wait easier on county residents in hot, cold or rainy weather. Hulsey estimated several thousand visitors to the office each month once it opens.
“We expect the U.S. 31 satellite office to be one of our busier locations because of the size of Hoover and the fact there are a lot of auto dealerships out there,” Hulsey said. “We already serve 6,500 a month from the Hoover Met.”
Paul DeMarco, a former state representative from Homewood, said the new office will benefit citizens outside Hoover and those who don’t have the ability to renew driver’s licenses in their cities. Although Vestavia Hills has allowed residents to renew driver’s licenses in City Hall, most Jefferson County citizens must drive to the downtown Birmingham county courthouse or satellite offices in Bessemer and Center Point.
“This is going to be a great asset for the citizens of Hoover as well as people in the surrounding areas,” Mayor Gary Ivey said.
The addition of driver’s license and business license renewals is welcome news to Bluff Park resident Sam Swiney, who said it will help achieve the goal of alleviating traffic congestion at the downtown Birmingham and Bessemer courthouses.
“That would be very beneficial to the residents of Jefferson County who do not normally travel downtown,” Swiney said.
He said it is also a smart move to offer business license purchases and renewals at the Hoover satellite office due to the number of businesses located in and around Hoover.
Bill Box, the owner and pharmacist of Green Valley Drugs in Hoover Court Town Center, said the new satellite car tag office will be a shot in the arm for both business owners in the center and Hoover residents. He had hoped the project would have been done sooner, as Jefferson County Commission officials had first estimated it would open by late summer.
“It will be a wonderful addition to our center,” said Box, whose father founded Green Valley Drugs in the center in 1961.
The county agreement with Hoover Court Investors LLC/Murer LLC calls for a 10-year initial term with two five-year renewal options. Under the plan, the Jefferson County Commission will pay the owner $500,000 to build out the satellite tag office. The remaining $350,000 will be used to pay for architects and engineers, security cameras, furnishings and burglar alarms.
Hoover City Councilman John Lyda said by far the most common request he hears about citizens’ needs is the ability to renew driver’s licenses in Hoover. Once the satellite office opens its doors, he anticipates it filling a major need.
“In addition to our residents, tens of thousands of Jefferson County residents come into our city each day to work or shop, and these services will be a huge convenience for everyone. It’s a win for Hoover and certainly a win for Jefferson County in showing that the days of bankruptcy are behind us,” Lyda said.
Jefferson County Satellite Office Services
- Driver’s and boat license renewals
- Business license applications and renewals
- Vehicle tag renewals
- Vehicle title registration
- The satellite office is located at Hoover Court Town Center, 1935 Hoover Court.