WAUKEE, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Transportation confirmed Tuesday the new state driver’s licensing service center will open Jan. 1, 2020, at 1156 S.E. Ashworth Road, slipped into a strip mall between a Unity Point clinic and a Jimmy John’s restaurant.
“I do know we have a location that is secured,” said Andrea Henry, director of strategic communications and policy with the Iowa Department of Transportation, “but I don’t know how far they are on the development of that and what the timeline is.”
Dallas County has provided the state’s licensing and ID services for 20 years at 918 Court St. in Adel, but the Iowa DOT will take over the function at the first of the year. The DOT announced its intention to take over licensing from Dallas County in November 2018.
The new DOT center will be situated on the southeast corner of the intersection of Grand Prairie Parkway and S.E. Ashworth Road, about one-half mile north of U.S. Interstate 80.
The puzzled looks of the Jimmy John’s staff implied their ignorance of their soon-to-be neighbors, but the receptionist at the Unity Point clinic confirmed there has been talk around the office of the new DOT center.
“We heard they’re moving in,” she said, “but we don’t know when.”
Some Adel residents were dismayed to see the state office leave the courthouse square area, according to their comments in reaction to ThePerryNews.com story.
“Another source of revenue leaving town,” said Nancy Harvey Miller of Adel. “Lots of people come here, and they buy gas and lunch and shop.”
Crystal Spieker of Adel wondered why no building in Adel could be found.
“They definitely needed a bigger space,” Spieker said, “but was there no other option for expansion in Adel?”
The average county treasurer in Iowa issues about 3,500 driver’s licenses and photo IDs a year. In contrast, the Dallas County Treasurer’s office currently issues about 26,000 a year, numbers on a par with DOT offices in Ames, Council Bluffs and Dubuque, and the numbers are expected to keep climbing.
The 3,000-square-foot location on Court Street no longer fits the bill, and the new location will provide the state 4,928 square feet. The property was purchased in 2016 by AP GPP LC for $8.4 million.
The present Court Street licensing center is 19 miles from Perry, and the new Waukee site will be 30 miles from Perry. By comparison, some distances to other area Iowa DOT offices are 25 miles to 201 State St. in Boone, 27 miles to 14 N. Chestnut St. in Jefferson, 34 miles to 200 N. Fifth St. in Guthrie Center and 39 miles to 6310 S.E. Convenience Blvd. in Ankeny.