Benefits & Services

Union Leadership





ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 sent a letter to the Senate Department of Administration Finance Sub-Committee on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 opposing the proposed DMV office closures in Delta Junction, Eagle River, Haines, Homer, Tok, and Valdez. You can read our full letter to the committee:

Dear Senator Hoffman:

The Alaska State Employees Association, AFSCME Local 52, represents more than 8,000 state employees in Alaska’s General Government Unit (GGU). Many of our members work in the Department of Administration, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These GGU members are hard-working Alaska public servants that provide critical services to Alaskans, all over our state, many in rural area areas. I am writing you and Senate Finance Committee members in opposition to the Dunleavy Administration’s effort to close six DMV offices across the state, and in their place create a “public-private partnership.” As we understand it, the Administration is proposing to close the following DMV offices:

  • Delta Junction: Mile 1420 Alaska Highway; Services include Road Tests, Knowledge Tests, & Vehicle Inspections: Nearest DMV office with these services: 95 miles by road
  • Eagle River: 11723 Glenn Highway, Suite 114; Services include Knowledge Tests: Nearest DMV office with these services: Anchorage, 16.6 miles
  • Haines: 259 Main Street, Suite 16; Services include Road Tests, Knowledge Tests, & Vehicle Inspections: Nearest DMV office with these services: 20 miles away in Skagway, requiring ferry service
  • Homer: 3798 Lake Street, Suite B; Services include Road Tests, Knowledge Tests, & Vehicle Inspections: Nearest DMV office with these services: Seward, 168 miles
  • Tok: Mile 1314 Alaska Highway; Services include Road Tests, Surety Bonds, & Vehicle Inspections: Nearest DMV office with these services: Fairbanks, 202 miles
  • Valdez: 217 Meals Avenue, Suite 6; Services include Road Tests, Knowledge Tests, & Vehicle Inspections: Nearest DMV office with these services: 120 miles by road

First, ASEA members and residents in these communities are opposed to these closures because this is terrible public policy. It will negatively impact the residents and employees in these communities who depend on and provide DMV services. If these offices close, the affected communities will lose the following services: Processing drivers licenses including CDLs, Real ID, and learner’s permits. Providing driver’s license testing including CDL exams. Processing and providing both new and used vehicle, trailer, and boat titles and registrations. Providing auto and boat licenses. Providing auto license plates including personalized and disabled veteran plates. Processing and providing SOA Employee ID cards. Processing and providing vehicle registrations and providing disabled driver permits among many other services. By closing these offices and no longer providing these critical state services, Alaska residents in these communities will experience substantial hardship. Rural Alaska residents have suffered enough. They shouldn’t have to suffer more by losing crucial, necessary services.

Second, ASEA opposes the State’s request because it would violate our collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Currently, the Department of Administration has a CBA with ASEA/AFSCME Local 52. Under Article 13 of the CBA, the DOA cannot unilaterally enter into a public-private business relationship without strictly complying with Article 13. Therefore, the DOA plan to replace DMV offices with a “public-private partnership” is the example of the cart before the horse and most likely illegal under our CBA.

Markets abhor a vacuum; one can expect that shortly after the closure of the State DMV locations “business partners” will be encouraged to open in these locations- circumventing Article 13 requirements.

I want to stress that the ASEA/AFSCME Local 52, the State’s largest public employee union of state and municipal employees, wants to partner with the State and do what is right and best for Alaska. The State’s success is our success. Our members love their jobs and work hard to provide the best, cost-efficient services to Alaska because we are Alaska residents. Our members depend on good policy and wise use of state resources. Outsourcing DMV work and closing DMV offices is not a good policy nor a good use of state resources. ASEA/AFSCME Local 52 opposes these DMV office closures and asks that your committee keep these offices whole in your budget proposal.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our office with any other questions.


Jake Metcalfe
Executive Director

CC: Senator Bert Stedman, co-chair Senate Finance