Pasco tries to curb weekend DMV traffic

By Sarah Blazonis, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018, 6:27 PM EST

Beginning on Saturday, April 7, the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office will offer weekend DMV services to county residents only.

  • Pasco Tax Collector only office in state to offer service on Saturday
  • Customers from other counties at times outnumber Pasco residents
  • Land O'Lakes office will be closed on weekends once policy starts

“Our Pasco residents certainly should come first, because they’re the ones that are paying for this building and the other four tax collector buildings,” Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano said from the Land O'Lakes office. “But also, we want to make sure they get fast, efficient service.”

Pasco’s tax collector’s office is the only one in the entire state that’s open every Saturday to offer regular DMV services such as title work, vehicle registration, and driver’s license renewal and issuing.

“On Saturday, we are truly overwhelmed,” Fasano said. “We have people that come from all around the state of Florida, from as close as Hillsborough County and Hernando County and Pinellas County to as far away, believe it or not, as Miami.”

Those customers can actually outnumber those from Pasco. Fasano said while about 30 percent of the Gulf Harbors office's Saturday customers are from outside the county. That amount jumps to 55 percent at the Wesley Chapel office and more than 70 percent at the Land O'Lakes office.

“It’s kind of a nightmare, very long,” said Land O'Lakes resident Bill Boutin of his weekend experiences at that office. “Takes you about an hour to get through the process.”

“Sometimes, when we’ll see 300, 400, in fact, in Gulf Harbors sometimes over 500 people on a Saturday," Fasano said. "Staff may not get out until several hours after they should’ve left and gone home."

Fasano said he couldn’t speak to why more tax collectors don’t offer weekend hours. He did, however, note that the offices lose money by offering DMV service – something they’re legally required to do.

He said his own office loses about $3 million a year.

Once the new policy starts, Land O'Lakes will no longer be open on the weekends, but the Gulf Harbors and Wesley Chapel offices will serve residents on either side of the county. During the week, all will be welcome at the Pasco offices.

Extended hours will also be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when offices will be open from 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

St. John’s County’s main tax collector’s office on Lewis Speedway in St. Augustine is open on the last Saturday of each month from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. for limited driver license services.