Fishers Island to get a DMV outpost

Fishers Island will have its own Department of Motor Vehicles satellite office as of this winter, according to Beth Cashel, liaison between Southold Town and Fishers Island.

The announcement was made last Wednesday afternoon during the annual Southold Town Board meeting on Fishers Island.

The satellite office will be run out of the Fishers Island Community Center, Ms. Cashel said, adding that the project will be carried out in several phases, 

The first phase, which has been completed, involved consulting with security and IT experts to evaluate suitable locations for the office.

The second phase, which is nearly complete, involved acquiring and installing essential equipment. Ms. Cashel said they expect to have all necessary equipment on by Aug. 10.

The third, and potentially most challenging, phase is hiring and training staff. “We will need three people at a time to man the station, but the hours of operation will not be daily,” Ms. Cashel said.”It’ll probably be [open] about six hours a month and we will work on what makes sense for everyone involved.”

Beth Cashel, Liason between Fishers Island and Southold Town Board, explaining the plans for the future satellite office of Department of Motor Vehicles on the Island to those in attendance at the annual Town Board meeting at Fishers Island last Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Melissa Azofeifa)

Training is being tailored specifically for the Fishers Island residents who will work at the satellite office.

“A huge shout-out to the DMV in Albany, who have created a specific training schedule just for Fishers Island,” Ms. Cashel said. “They understand that you can’t [commute] daily to White Plains for 10 straight days, [so] they’re going to do [the training] all online for nine days. One day will be in person and it will be over a two month period.” She added that the goal is to have the satellite office “up and running” this winter.” 

Ms. Cashel said Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) and the staff at the community center have been “instrumental” in making this happen for Fishers Island residents.

“A huge shout-out to the Town Board, to the Community Center and to [Ms. Giglio] and also to the DMV who I meet with weekly on a call,” Ms. Cashel said. “There are probably about 10 people from their offices working incredibly hard to make this happen. They have really gone over and beyond and we’re all very happy.”

The off-site Southold Town Board meeting is held annually at the Fishers Island School. The roughly five-square mile island counts just 61 residents, according to 2020 U.S. Census Bureau data, but the population swells to as many as 2,000 during peak summer weekends. In addition to members of the Town Board, other local officials — including representatives of the agricultural advisory committee, aircaft noise steering committee, Board of Assessors and Town Trustees — met early in Orient last Wednesday for the ferry ride to the island.

Other Fishers Island projects that Southold Town Board has been working on include updating zoning codes on the island in accordance with a presentation by Mara Cerezo of the town planning department and improving 911 emergency service.