Additional Reporting by Ran Northam; Photo Courtesy: NC DMV

CHAPEL HILL – We soon won’t have to travel to neighboring counties to register our vehicles.

Marge Howell, DMV Communications Officer, says that a new license plate agency will open at 1704-B E. Franklin Street sometime in October.

The state license plate agencies are privately-owned, and Orange County’s new office will be run by businessman Bruce Farmer.

“The contractors there provide basically vehicle registration and titling services for vehicles that are licensed to operate in North Carolina,” Howell says.

The Chapel Hill License Plate Agency, which was located in University Mall, was OrangeCounty’s only DMV office. It was closed last November when the woman who held the contract for the agency was charged with embezzlement for allegedly taking more than $4,000 from the state of North Carolina.

“We have auditing principles in place,” Howell says. “We have field supervisors who go out to audit the operations at each of the offices, so we will be checking-in and keeping on eye on things at that agency as well.”

Howell explains that DMV audits each of the approximately 120 license plate agencies in the state regularly.