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Gov’t Centers Getting Busy Before Potential Shutdown

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lines for licenses are growing and waits are getting longer at Hennepin County Government centers as residents prepare for a state government shutdown.

People are rushing to get license plate, tabs and vehicles registered before a shutdown. Jamie Olson is rushing to get something else done too: Her name changed.

“I think everybody’s excited about getting married,” she said Tuesday while waiting with her mom at the Hennepin County Service Center in Brooklyn Center. “Changing my I.D. to my new last name.”

They looked at pictures of Olson’s honeymoon while they passed the time.  They waited two hours to get the name change done.

But there wasn’t much hundreds of other people could do while they waited to get new plates and register cars.  A manager said the lines were longer than usual.

“I would assume people are trying to get things done before the government shuts down,” said Olson.

In fact, all seven county service centers will close with a state shutdown if state computers get turned off. There will be no way for county workers to access the state’s computer system to process applications.

State Motor Vehicle offices will also close when the state government closes for business.

If your license or tabs expire, you won’t be able to renew at a state office.

Some people are showing up before the doors even open, and some of those lines have actually been out the door.

Amber Kucera isn’t waiting until the last minute to get new tabs.  She got them Tuesday.

“Little more relieved,” she said.  “I got them. Putting them on. I’m good to go.”

When state and county offices close, you might want to try your local city hall. For instance, the City Manager in Robbinsdale still expects to be able to process license plates and tabs.

Hennepin county administrators urge residents to get their business done soon, like how Kucera did things. She paid about $140 for her tabs.

“It’s a lot of money, yep,” she said.

Olson paid in time to change her name, which makes her wish she was back at the beach, far from the rush of a pending government shutdown.

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