The Department of Revenue and Taxation has shut down operations at its Agana Satellite office, funneling all the community needs to the already-bustling Barrigada main office.
DRT’s lease at Agana Shopping Center is expiring and DRT director Dafne Shimizu says it was tough to find a new location with the ongoing pandemic or even focus on possibly renegotiating the lease.
As of today, all the online appointments will now be serviced out of the Barrigada main office until Rev & Tax finds a more suitable satellite location.
DRT is also trying to encourage people to go online.
“Even during the pandemic, when we were shut down, on the vehicle registration side, our team was mentioning that we probably had about 8,000 online renewals for vehicle registration and we’re seeing more and more people do things online and recognize that things can be done online,” Shimizu said.
Shimizu says she’s confident that closing down the ASC location is ultimately the best decision, telling K57 radio listeners Thursday morning that her primary concern is to keep residents and employees safe.
“So we believe that it’s best to move our driver’s license section back up to Barrigada and work to service the online at this point. And as you know, we’ve also added Saturdays onto our schedule. We don’t work this Saturday, our driver’s license section won’t be open, but we’ll be open on Aug 1, Aug 8 and Aug 15,” Shimizu said.
Some of the members of the team from Agana will be working on driver’s licenses and some will be helping with logistics in Barrigada with a higher volume of people anticipated.
“We believe the Saturdays that we’ve been open have been really productive and we’ve actually been able to service people. I think that we’ve even gotten better every week. Of course, the first weekend we did the Saturday service, it was very very…we didn’t realize we were going to get so many people. And even the second Saturday, there were people who were there since midnight…just to try to get their driver’s license,” Shimizu said.
DRT had started segmenting every week, based on license expiration dates, to try to control incoming crowds.
As for how they’ll deal with the influx of added residents in the Barrigada office, Shimizu said: “We’re going to revert back to perhaps not having as much walk-in during the day, it will mostly be online scheduling. We’ll continue to have veterans, Manamko and disabled hours from 8 am to 9 am and then everything else will revert back to the online appointment, from 9 am until we close at 5 pm.”
Shimizu says the DRT team is currently analyzing data of how many driver’s licenses expired over the past few months and how many people were able to renew. Based on this data, they’ll decide on whether to open up more walk-in days.
In her interview, Shimizu also said another round of stimulus looks promising for Americans based on federal negotiations. But there’s no final decision from the White House yet.
PNC News First