Bureau of Motor Vehicles office moving from South Portland to Scarborough

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SCARBOROUGH — Almost two years after announcing a search for new space, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is moving its South Portland branch from the Maine Mall to 200 Expedition Drive, where it will open for business on Monday, Oct. 28.

In a press release Wednesday, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap cited a lack of seating and parking at the Maine Mall as the reason for the move.

The new office will increase lobby seating from 34 seats to 59, offer more parking spots, and expand space for road tests. It will also offer a public restroom, which was not available at the mall.

The South Portland office, which will close Thursday, has been the second most active of the state’s 13 branches, serving 60,000 customers annually. Its 3,600 square feet put it among the state’s smallest BMV offices.

“Relocating this BMV office has been a significant priority for several years,” Dunlap said in a statement. “However, finding a new site in the general proximity of the current location that meets customer needs as well as the needs of this department, while staying on budget, has proven to be a difficult undertaking.

“I think that the space we’ve found in Scarborough meets the majority of our expectations and customers will be happy with the improvements the new location has enabled us to make.”

The BMV had been a tenant at the Maine Mall since 1996. It had a 10-year lease at the mall that expired in 2011. The state sought proposals to replace the office in January 2012.

The Scarborough office is 3.5 miles from the Maine Mall office.

Brendan Twist can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or btwist@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @brendantwist.