Walker County Probate Judge A. Lee Tucker said Saturday afternoon his office will now only take telephone appointments only, meaning the public will not be allowed inside the office.
Tucker posted a letter, in further reaction to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, on Facebook, noting that on Thursday his office announced all business would be conducted by in-person appointment only.
"After careful consideration and due to safety concerns, we have decided to change to telephone appointment only. If you have matters for the probate court, please call our office at (205) 384-7281 and we will handle your matter as promptly as possible," Tucker said in his letter on Saturday.
He told the Daily Mountain Eagle that afternoon that the staff would continue to work out of the office, but the decision had been made it was best not to have the public come into the office.
"I've got to protect the public, and I've got to protect my employees," he said.
The letter also reminded customers that one may now register the purchase of a new or used car from a dealership online, at www.EasyTagAL.com without having to come to the office.
Tucker said the office was still working out some bugs in that new system, but it was expected the online program would be fully operational by Monday.
He also said in the letter renewals of vehicle registrations can be done online at www.altags.com/walkerlicense. One can use a credit card or debit card, and the tag and registration can be mailed back. "Should you need to pay by check, please mail your check to the office with your renewal notice and we will process your business normally," he said. The deadline for renewals with no penalty has been extended to April 15.
The STAR ID deadline has been extended to Oct. 1, 2021, and one can renew a license online at www.alea.gov, he said.
"All in-person court hearings other than emergency hearings have been continued, but I am conducting hearings electronically as well as in-person emergency hearings," Tucker said.