Broome County is preparing to move the Department of Motor Vehicles office out of Binghamton's First Ward.

The DMV operation is expected to be shifted to empty space at the downtown bus station on Chenango Street.

Broome County clerk Richard Blythe, who oversees the operation of the local DMV offices, says the relocation could happen early next year.

Blythe says he expects the DMV plan will be part of county executive Debra Preston's budget proposal next week.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Blythe said the move would clear the way for the county to sell the site at 181 Clinton Street where the current office has operated for several years.

The county acquired the property for $110,000 in early 2000.

Blythe said he's had concerns about whether the bus station site would have adequate parking for people transacting DMV business. He said the county has been working to address the parking issue.

Blythe noted the county now leases 20 parking spaces adjacent to the Clinton Street office for about $16,000 annually.

The county clerk views the new site as a "mixed bag" with some advantages and disadvantages.

Ultimately, the county executive and legislature will make the decision on where the DMV office will be and, Blythe said, "we'll make it work."

Blythe said the county will have to coordinate the move with the state. He predicted the office could be operating at the downtown site sometime during the first quarter of 2014.