COTTONWOOD - The fourth location for Ken Foote's third-party department of motor vehicles opened in Cottonwood at 656 S. Main St. at the start of this year.
Foote said the office has seen an increase in customers each month FooteWork has been open, offering almost all of the same services as a state-run DMV office.
"Once the state consolidated its field offices a few years ago, I feel the Verde area has been underserved and our offices could help with that," Foote said. The third-party program is designed to take away some of the strain at these field offices. We're not there to replace them; we're just there to help them."
Starting at about $20, FooteWork can handle everything, car title and license plate, in about 10 minutes. He also offers customers disability registration and personal home visits for vehicle testing. His contract with the state to provide third-party services is set to expand this fall to include driver's licenses.
Foote said as the economy has been showing signs of improvement, Cottonwood was the "logical next choice" for the business's expansion. From his home in 1998, to an office in Prescott shortly after, to one in Prescott Valley in 2006, and then Williams four years later, Foote said he's filling a need in the Verde Valley.
The four locations employ 15 people, including the two full timers and one part-time employee who were hired on for the new office. He said each office will increase staff to about five people when the driver's license program initially rolls out this fall.
"That's going to be a huge expansion for us," Foote said. "I want to make sure that we're giving all the attention that we need to the driver's license promotion."
Foote said he expects the business to expand to seven locations in the next three years.
"I live in a small town and want to stay in a small town," he said. "Our plan is to open up offices in other small communities."
Next up is Flagstaff, possibly by the end of this year, and a possible satellite office in Sedona is being considered.
In the first few months the Cottonwood office has been open, Foote said he's been knocking on doors and working to make connections with the community to find out what services they would want.
His four offices employ people who are knowledgeable in complex individual transactions, dealership titlework, large and small fleet titlework, land title company titlework, Game & Fish titlework and hard-to-fix situations.
"Because we're private, we have to create a value for our customer," he said. "In Cottonwood, Almeda Vandenberg, Ron Tickey and Deb Hartnett bring a tremendous amount of friendly experience to our customers."