Allen shares insights to office

Published 9:17 am Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen danced on Elvis’ grave.

Brundidge Rotarians know the story and, if others twist Allen’s arm, he might be willing to share the story with them but, for now, mums the word with the Rotarians.

Allen shared several light moments with the Brundidge Rotarians on Wednesday but then turned serious as he talked about his commitment to his position as Pike County’s probate judge.

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“I try to keep my head down and work hard,” Allen said. “I try to stretch a nickel into a dime and be as efficient as I can possibly be. I have an outstanding staff and we do the most we can with what we have. But we are always customer focused, no matter what we are doing.”

The Probate Office handles everything from elections to civic court and not the least among its duties and responsibilities is the issuing of licenses.

At this time, the issuing of licenses is of great interest and of the utmost importance.

The state’s new Immigration Law requires strict adherence and Allen said he is committed to that.

“It is a felony if you don’t comply with the state’s Immigration law and I will comply,” Allen said. “Any person who enters into a business transaction or is attempting to enter into a business transaction with our state is required to demonstrate his or her United States citizenship.”

Allen said U.S. citizenship can be demonstrated by a birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, military records or other official means of identification.

“The law applies when applying for a driver’s license, a vehicle tag, a hunting license – any business transaction with the state except a marriage license.”

Allen said when applying for a new vehicle tag or renewing a tag, if both spouses’ names are on the registration, both parties must give their driver’s license number and expiration date.

Allen said that it has taken his staff only a couple of minutes to handle the extra steps required by the new immigration law.

The probate judge touched on several changes in the probate office that are helping to run the office more efficiently.

“We have created a more robust interface with the public,” he said. “We are on Facebook and Twitter and other social media. We have opened a satellite office in Brundidge in the old doctor’s building. We will be there on the third Tuesday of the month. The satellite office is a great opportunity for us to better serve the county.”

The probate office now takes passport applications and certifies them.

“Since we kicked off this service in February 2010, we have taken applications for more than 800 passports,” Allen said. “More residents are taking advantage of the mail-in options for vehicle and boat tags.

“The mail-in options are offered at not additional cost to the taxpayers. These are a few of the ways that the Pike County Probate Office is working to make the office more efficient and its services more convenient for our residents.”