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DMV suspends services at Warren branch; other offices to remain open


CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — In an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles is closing its part-time Warren branch, effective immediately.

The branch, located at Warren Town Hall, generally operates two days a week. The decision was made after the town administration requested the DMV suspend its services, according to DMV spokesperson Paul Grimaldi.

Grimaldi said the decision was made in an effort to reduce the risk to employees that work in Warren Town Hall, including the police department and other municipal services.

“The DMV will temporarily curtail its service hours at its Warren branch as part of its efforts to minimize exposure to the coronavirus for our customers, our employees and visitors to municipal offices in Warren,” DMV Administrator Walter Craddock said in a statement.

For now, Grimaldi said full-time service will continue at the DMV offices in Cranston, Middletown, Wakefield and Woonsocket, as well as at its road test center in Providence.

At the Cranston branch, visitors are being asked to wait outside for the time being. City resident George Simmons said he was one of the first people in line after the requirement was put in place and had to wait about two hours to get inside the building.

“Stood in the rain. Even though it wasn’t that cold this morning, being an older gentleman, I was feeling that cold by the time I got into that building at 11 a.m.,” he said.

Grimaldi said as of Wednesday, DMV officials were only allowing 10-30 visitors inside the building at a time.

“We want to keep everyone safe and we want to keep our employees safe,” he added.

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