Currituck County's First License Plate Agency Opens in September
by Think Currituck, on 7/11/19 1:34 PM
Life just got a little easier for Currituck County residents.
Instead of driving to Manteo or Elizabeth City to buy a license plate or pay vehicle registration fees, by the third week in September, Currituck residents won't have to leave the county.
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) announced today that Currituck County is getting its first license plate agency. The DMV awarded the contract to Allison Nekervis, owner of Sur-Pak, a packing and shipping business in Moyock.
The Currituck License Plate Agency is scheduled to open on September 23-24.
In North Carolina, the DMV oversees the license plate offices, but they're managed privately on a contract basis. License plate offices also offer speciality license plates, renewal license plate decals, vehicle registration services and title transactions.
The new Currituck License Plate Agency will be located at 257 Caratoke Highway, Suite E, next door to Sur-Pak, inside the block of offices and shops at the corner of Baxter and Caratoke (across the street from Towne Bank).
Nekervis is uniquely suited to operate the county's first-ever license plate office. In addition to being an authorized shipping center for Fed-Ex and UPS, Sur-Pak is already a vessel titling agency for the Wildlife Resources Commission for the state of North Carolina.
A vessel title is required for any motorized vessel (boats, jet skis) or large sailboat that operates on public waterways. Sur-Pak also handles the license and registration for those vessels. It is also authorized to issue hunting and fishing licenses.
Nekervis cites her successful track record as a vessel titler as one of the main reasons she earned the license plate contract. After applying to the open contract, she successfully navigated a series of interviews, tests and background checks.
"I basically put a bid in that showed I was the best person to collect for the state of North Carolina," she said.
Once the license plate agency is open, county residents will enjoy "one-stop shopping" when it comes to titling.
"Sur-Pak will know how to handle the titling for anything that has numbers on it," Nekervis said. "And the Currituck License Plate Agency will handle anything that's plated. So you can get your boat done in Sur-Pak and then you can walk next door and have your trailer for your boat done at the license plate agency."
The decision to open an office in Currituck came after the DMV determined there was sufficient customer demand. Its location near the NC/VA state line is also an advantage.
"They wanted me close to this border because I will probably do 50% of my business out of Virginia," Nekervis said. "Everybody here buys their cars in Virginia, so one of my biggest customers will be the Virginia dealers. All of those car dealers, will have to eventually come this way. I want to make sure that they come to me and that Currituck County benefits from all of that activity. "
Nekervis said she's still working out some of the operational details, but the office will do everything it can to be responsive to the needs of those who use it.
"We will be open for the full day, without closing for lunch," she said. "Maybe in the future, we'll stay open late on one or two Fridays a month, or open on a Saturday."
Another big question she expects to get: Will the Currituck agency offer plates with the popular "OBX" prefix?
"I'm not sure," Nekervis said. "I know that's one of the burning questions, because a lot of people will make the 45 minutes drive to Manteo just to get a plate that says 'OBX.'"
For many, the new service will provide more than just a convenience.
"Time and money," said Economic Development Director Larry Lombardi. "Currituck County is going to save an awful lot of both."
"We've got lots of county vehicles," he said. "When they need to deal with registration, titling or plate issues, people have to drive almost an hour to Elizabeth City or Manteo. That takes people away from what they have to do."
"Think about the small businesses," added Lombardi. "Maybe they don't have the right piece of paper and they have to leave and come all the way back. They can waste half a day just driving back and forth."
Allison Nekervis is well aware that this is a big deal for Currituck and said that she is more than up for the task.
"The state of North Carolina and the county deemed that there are enough people here to open a license plate agency," she said. "They see a need for the service and I'm going to do the best job I can to provide that service for the people of Currituck County."