Threat of government shutdown could mean busy week at BMV

BMV possible closure

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — If you have to renew your driver's license or register a vehicle, you may want to think about heading over to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles this week.

The secretary of state says a shutdown would close all branches of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) starting July 1.

Abbigail Carrier was at the BMV branch at the Airport Mall in Bangor to get her very first driver’s license. "I've been waiting a long time," she said.

She failed her first test, but her twin sister did not.

“She was driving me around, "Abbigail said. "Now I can drive myself around, so it's great."

Her parents are happy about that too.

"So now she can go to the store I don't have to," said her stepfather, Glenn Bristol.

"I don't have to run her around anymore," added her mother, Melissa Carrier.

Neither Abbigail nor her parents realized the government shutdown could close BMV offices. Now they know,  and they're glad they came in this week.

"If we were to come next week and they were closed we'd all have been mad," Glenn Bristol said.

If lawmakers don't pass a budget by the end of the month a shutdown will become a reality. With BMV offices closed, people would not be able to get their licenses or registrations renewed. They would not be able to get state ID cards. The secretary of state’s office says those online services may be shut down too.

"There's consideration with folks being able to complete those processes without any support from BMV staff if there are calls, questions, that sort of thing," explained Kristen Muszynski, the communications director for the Department of the Secretary of State.

Many are hopeful lawmakers and the governor won’t let a shutdown happen. If that's the case Abbigail Carrier will be luckier than her boyfriend who's still waiting to schedule a road test. That would mean She'd have to be the one in the driver’s seat.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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