The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles closed the Rural Hall License Plate Agency on Tuesday for alleged contract violations and possible violations of state law, the division said in a statement.
The agency, which is at 1014 Bethania-Rural Hall Road, was closed following an investigation by the DMV’s License and Theft Bureau, the DMV said. Investigators determined that the alleged activities warranted the office’s closing and the cancellation of its contract.
Since 1989, the Rural Hall License Plate Agency has operated at its Bethania-Rural Hall Road location, the DMV said. John Brockwell, a DMV spokesman, said that Virginia Moore was the office’s manager.
Moore, 62, of 114 Ridgeview Drive in King, was charged Aug. 21 with selling a vehicle at a car dealership without a state sales license, illegally altering a vehicle title and falsely affirming a motor-vehicle registration form as a licensed notary for the state of North Carolina, an arrest warrant says.
Moore is accused of selling a 1999 Toyota Tacoma on behalf of Moore’s Auto Detailing to a customer without having a state sales license, according to the warrant. Moore also is accused of falsifying a motor-vehicle registration form for that vehicle by stating that another person, not Moore, was the vehicle’s seller and fabricating a name and fraudulently notarizing a DMV form regarding the vehicle’s sale, the warrant says.
The offenses took place from Aug. 13 to Aug. 21, the warrant said.
Moore couldn’t be reached Tuesday to comment on the warrant’s allegations. A man who answered the phone at Moore’s Auto Detailing in Rural Hall said that his business had nothing to do with the charges against Moore and that Moore had committed no wrongdoing. The man declined to identify himself, but he said he was Moore’s ex-husband.
Moore was released from custody Aug. 21 after she posted a $2,000 bond, court records show. She is scheduled to appear on Sept. 5 in Forsyth District Court.
No state employees worked at the Rural Hall agency, Brockwell said. Independent contractors operated the office, he said. Brockwell didn’t say how many independent contractors worked in the agency.
Mayor Larry Williams of Rural Hall said the closing of the town’s licence-plate agency is a setback. The agency serves residents in northern Forsyth County, he said.
“I hate that it closed,” Williams said. “I hope it’s temporary.”
John McDermon, a member of the Rural Hall Town Council and the mayor pro tem, said he was surprised and disappointed when he learned about the agency’s closing.
“The license plate office in Rural Hall is always a very busy place,” McDermon said in an email. “The loss of this service will most certainly be a cause of disruption for the citizens of the area.”
If the closing is permanent, town officials will look for ways to replace it and its services, said McDermon, Ricky Plunkett and Tim Flinchum, who are also council members.
“It’s a loss to our community,” Plunkett said. “The town of Rural Hall will be monitoring the situation and will encourage N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles to re-establish license-plate agency services in Rural Hall as soon as reasonably possible.”
DMV officials will perform a final inventory audit of the agency, and will remove state-owned equipment and supplies, the DMV said. Residents can go to license-plate agencies in Winston-Salem, Walnut Cove, Kernersville and Mount Airy.
Residents also can access DMV services online such as making property-tax payments and registration renewals at www.MyNCDMV.gov, DMV said.
License-plate agencies provide vehicle-registration services, title transactions, vehicle license-plate renewals, replacement tags and duplicate registrations, DMV said. There are 126 license-plate agencies across North Carolina.