DMV closes for renovation

The Santa Monica office of the Department of Motor Vehicles is undergoing a much-needed facelift.

The office, located at 2235 Cloverfield Blvd., has been closed since May 1 for a major renovation project, which includes the installation of a new floor and a number of physical upgrades to bring the office up to current building codes. Customer seating will also be improved, DMV officials said.

The office is scheduled to reopen for business on Monday, July 6 at 8 a.m.

DMV officials said the 38-year old office has not had any substantial renovations since it opened in 1971. The Santa Monica facility is one of several offices slated for maintenance or repair projects during 2009. DMV usually schedules about a dozen office closures each year — for varying lengths of time — to make infrastructure improvements or for equipment installation.

The Santa Monica office has 29 full-time and 12 part-time employees who handle some 227,000 transactions each year.

DMV officials say they will carefully monitor customer flow to the surrounding offices and move technicians as needed to provide the best customer service possible during the complicated renovation process.

During the closure, Santa Monica DMV customers will be directed to neighboring offices in:

• Culver City, 11400 West Washington Blvd., 5 miles away;

• Inglewood, 621 La Brea Ave., 9 miles away;

• Hollywood, 803 Cole Ave., 11 miles away;

• West Hollywood (registration transactions only), 936 North Formosa Ave. ,12 miles away; and

• Los Angeles, 3615 South Hope St., 14 miles away.

In a continuing effort to shorten lines and wait times, the DMV wants customers to understand there are a number of service options currently available to them, which if properly utilized, can dramatically reduce the number of transactions handled in any field office on a face-to-face basis. That means shorter wait times.

For example, most routine services the DMV provides can be done by mail; instructions for mailing license or registration renewals are included with the notifications sent out by the department. Customers can use checks or money orders to renew by mail.

Or, simply go online. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (, including online appointments for written and drive tests, vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions.

The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.


Students wins Coca-Cola scholarship

A student at Santa Monica High School has been named one of the country’s most outstanding seniors by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and will receive a $10,000 scholarship for college.

Sun Kim demonstrated academic and civic excellence in school and the community, said Sandy Williams, chairman of the board of the Foundation and president of Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works.

“This student is part of a diverse group of extraordinary high school seniors that have shown a steadfast commitment to educational excellence, leadership and service … ,” Williams said. “The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is proud to name Kim as a National 2009 Coca-Cola Scholars.”

The foundation, a joint effort of Coca-Cola Bottlers across America and The Coca-Cola Co., is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship programs of its kind in the U.S. Including the 2009 class of scholars, the foundation has awarded 4,276 students with a total of $38 million in scholarships.

Samohi students joined 252 of America’s most impressive seniors who competed for the 52 national scholarships of $20,000 and 200 Regional scholarships of $10,000 during the Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend, held April 2 to 5 in Atlanta. Scholars were chosen from an initial applicant pool of more than 74,000 representing approximately 23,000 high schools nationwide.

During the Scholars Weekend, the 2009 class of Coca-Cola Scholars interviewed with a national selection committee representing education, business, government and arts leaders from across the country. The Scholars were also recognized at a banquet held in their honor. Michelle Peluso, 1989 Coca-Cola Scholar and former CEO of Travelocity, gave the banquet keynote address. Scholars also participated in seminars, toured local landmarks and conducted a beautification project at the Chattahoochee River.   

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program is one of the most-recognized and respected corporate sponsored scholarships in America. The program was created in 1986 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola and to establish a legacy for the education of tomorrow’s leaders through college scholarships. 

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