News late last week about the abrupt closure of the Department of Motor Vehicles Office in Rome came as a surprise to many, and has left local drivers dreading the trip to the Utica DMV office over fears of even longer than normal lines and wait times.

Oneida County Clerk Sandy DePerno made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, citing a shortage of employees leaving the office unable to function within New York State DMV guidelines. That leaves only the Utica location, inside the Boehlert Transportation Center at Union Station on Main Street, the only play for in-person service in Oneida County 'until further notice.'

If long wait lines at the Utica office are of concern, there are other DMV offices within an hour drive of downtown Utica and downtown Rome.

  1. Madison County DMV Office on North Court Street in Wampsville - located a mere 20 miles away from downtown Rome. Expect a 30 minute drive from Rome, or almost 40 from downtown Utica
  2. Herkimer County DMV Office at 109 Mary Street in Herkimer - within 30 miles of downtown Rome. Expect a 35 minutes if you're coming from the Copper City. From Utica, it's a little over 20 minutes.
  3. Onondaga County DMV has two locations in the Syracuse-area and you can reach both in under an hour from Rome. The North Syracuse Office at 8501 East Taft Road is slightly over 40 miles from Rome, and if you take the NYS Thruway, google maps says you'll be there in 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the Syracuse office at 4671 Onondaga Boulevard in the Western Lights Plaza is 47 miles from downtown Rome with a drive time of about 55 minutes (again if you use the Thruway)
  4. Lewis County DMV at 7513 East State Street in Lowville will take about the same amount of time to reach from downtown Rome as the Syracuse location on Onondaga Boulevard mentioned above. From downtown Rome to the Lowville office, it's 42-miles about 55 minutes in the car. From downtown Utica, it's just over an hour.
  5. Otsego County DMV at 197 Main Street in Cooperstown. It's just 35 miles from Utica, but because of the back roads you'll be taking it's about 55 minutes to get there. Coming from downtown Rome, expect your commute to take about an hour and ten minutes, so in other words, if you're coming from Rome it might be best to pick one of the other offices to visit.

Also, motorists also have the option to to use New York State's online DMV services, here.

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How bad do we REALLY have it in New York State when it comes to our commute times? According to The U.S. Census Bureau, the national average for a one-way commute to or from work is 26.9 minutes and 9.3% of workers nationwide have a one-way commute of 60 minutes or more. Here in New York State, the mean travel time to work in minutes for workers age 16 years+ between 2016-2020 was around 33.5 minutes.

Which counties across the state are the worst?

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We wanted to share some of the most obscure and bizarre named ones on the list. Have you ever heard of these towns?:


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