DMV seeking applicants to operate license plate agency in Wilmington as 93 year-old owner is retiring

DMV seeking applicants to operate license plate agency in Wilmington as 93 year-old owner is retiring
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 4:35 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2023 at 7:10 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Charlie Garrett Sr. has owned the license plate agency off S. Kerr Avenue for 20 years, but now at 93 years old, he’s retiring.

“You know, I was wondering if maybe I’ve set a record? Hey, this could be encouraging to people that are advancing into the old age to keep their thoughts together,” Charlie said.

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is seeking applicants to replace him, and in the meantime, the location will be closed.

Charlie says this job wasn’t always easy, especially when dealing with frustrated customers.

“We’ve had some hard times. We’ve had people that were disgruntled,” he said.

His priority was keeping his employees and the customers that walk in safe.

He said when he took over in 2003, the space was nothing more than bare walls. He built the current space, including the furniture and security features, from the ground up.

Charlie’s son, Nick, is the reason that Charlie decided to take this job at the license plate agency in the first place, starting another job years after most people retire from their first.

Nick died in 2012, but his memory lives on through Charlie.

“And I did it for him. And Nick, in heaven, I’m telling you that I have fulfilled my obligation. And I love you.”

“In North Carolina, NCDMV oversees LPAs, but the agencies are managed by private businesses or local governments. The current agency, at 13 S. Kerr Ave., at the Market Plaza Shopping Center in Wilmington, will permanently close at 5 p.m. on Sept. 22 after the current operator’s contract ends. The agency has been operated by Charles Garrett since 2003. The division’s policy is to open applications to operate a license plate agency after the expiration or end of a contract, or when the need arises for a new or additional agency in a certain county,” a DMV announcement states.

Applications are due by Oct. 20 and can be found on the NCDOT website. Interested applicants can call 919-615-8521 with questions.

Also in the local area, these two license plate offices are open Monday through Friday:

  • 2390 Carolina Beach Rd., Suite 108., Wilmington, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 910-763-6752
  • 30 Government Dr. N.E., Bolivia, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 910-253-2712