Shutdown Threat Seizes Up DMV Lines

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The impact of a possible government shutdown is already fueling traffic at Twin Cities Department of Motor Vehicles locations.

Early Tuesday morning, drivers began lining up at the Arden Hills Drivers License Exam center.

“We’re the fourth in line,” said Niki Miller as she waited with her mother. “We got up at 4:30 to come here at 5:30.”

They came the day before but were turned away because their insurance card had expired.

Workers at the DMV office said they’ve been extremely busy.

State Public Department spokesman Doug Neville says, “Under the governor’s recommendations, if there is a shutdown — and the court will ultimately decide — then Driver and Vehicle Services will close.”

That has motivated many parents to get their teenagers licensed and on the road before Friday’s possible shutdown.

“We came on Friday and the lines were out the door,” said Betsy Spencer, who was there with her 15-year-old son Ben. He’s trying to get a permit, and has other friends trying to squeeze in to the DMV before Friday.

“They want what I want. They don’t want to wait a long time,” said Ben.

Some are afraid a shutdown will close the DMV for a long time and they’ll miss out on some summer cruising. But for Miller and her mother, it’s a different story. If Miller doesn’t get her license then her mother will have to drive her from their home in Forest Lake to her work in Stillwater.

“I’m not leaving here without my license. That’s not going to happen,” said Miller with a big smile. This will be her second time being tested. Eight months ago, she said she “failed everything.”

Things didn’t get off to a good start — a fender bender on the course interrupted examinations for brief period.

Some services can be done at deputy registrars’ license agencies. People can renew their tabs and licenses and get new plates. But if a shutdown does happen then those renewed licenses and plates won’t be mailed out until workers return.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

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  • Beer Guzzling Redneck

    “If Miller doesn’t get her license then her mother will have to drive her from their home in Forest Lake to her work in Stillwater.”

    The hell she does. She finds a new job in Forest Lake. Why would someone drive a kid 30 miles to a $7/hr job?

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Rrrrrr

      How do you know how much the kid earns an hour? I think people need to quit judging when they arent seeing what the big picture is. They are using the family as an example ahole.

      • St Paul

        Nice comment Rrrrrr. My thoughts exactly!! But what do you expect from a Beer Guzzling Redneck. lol

  • klm

    Gee it’s a tragedy that some kid might not get their drivers license. How about the kids that won’t be getting their life saving medical services.

    • Les Johnson

      Which services are you referring to specifically?

    • Victim mentality

      People WILL NOT be denied medical services. Let’s not try to instill panic. Hospitals and clinics are still providing services.

    • St Paul

      Kim – note to self. Get info before commenting. Thank you.

  • Huxley

    I have a problem with roads being built with tax-payer dollars and then having the government turn around and charge taxpayers a fee to drive on said roads. Sure makes it easier for the coddled garbage living in Wayzata to bypass the masses though.

  • Daniel Boone

    I feel no pity for the kids who are waiting in line for there license. When I was 16 in the Mid-90’s I had to wait 4-5 hours without an appointment at the Plymouth location so I could take my drivers exam. Anyways since these folks knew that the DMV would be closing on Friday if the government shuts down why didn’t they go earlier in the month.

    “If Miller doesn’t get her license then her mother will have to drive her from their home in Forest Lake to her work in Stillwater.” So your telling me that there is no jobs that pay $7/hr in Lino Lakes right off 35W. Give me a break. That mom really needs her head examine.

  • Way to fix it...

    I had a thought….How many people owe the State of MN taxes? And how much?

    Let’s forget party lines…income…and all other BS…..

    I have an idea…..Let’s get the people that owe taxes to the State of MN to PAY THEM!!!! BOTTOM LINE!!! Work on a Federal Level to garnish wages! If you don’t like it you can LEAVE the US!!!! But if you owe taxes…..the state (and Fed for that matter) can start taking it out of your check…..if you are not working…you do NOT get welfare, unemployment, or ANY OTHER assistance!!!


    If you do NOT pay the taxes you have…you do NOT deserve to be here!

    Who CARES about income….or political sides….

    Let’s get the people who OWE taxes to pay them….BOTTOM LINE!!!

    Does anyone have a figure on what that amount would be? I do not want to quote a number I can’t back….

    Why raise taxes on the people who PAY THEIR TAXES!!!!!

    Time for the people who PAY their taxes to be rewarded for that by NOT raising their taxes…

    Just like credit! People that pay their bills should get a BETTER rate than the people that do not! WHY SHOULD THIS be ANY different with taxes!!!

    (And yes….I posted this in another forum…I think it’s an idea that needs to be discussed!!!)

    • Les Johnson

      So the ones who can’t afford it need to have their share raised so they NEVER can afford it.


      With ideas as bad as yours, who needs comedy to get through the day?

      Nothing you suggested was feasible or practical or even sensible. Why did you bother?

    • M B

      You do realize that all those words in caps equates to shouting on the net right?

      If so, your idea of “discussion” seems to be yelling at people until they acquiesce just to get you to close your mouth. In other words, no one’s going to give any credence to someone who’s only conversational tactic is to yell people into submission.

      Now… How exactly are people who are disabled and can’t work supposed to “work” to get welfare? I agree that there are too many abusing the system (most notably churches that import people from overseas and then dump them on the welfare system) but there are people who need the help. What are you suggesting these people do? Or is it you’d rather put a bullet in their heads so they don’t cost the state any more money, is that it?

      Use your brain more, and shout less.

  • Rico Suave

    The DMV is so slow already, I’m not sure anyone will notice. In fact it might be faster without our dazzling govt. employees in the way. Just leave the forms on the counter. We’ll be in and out in 5 minutes instead of two hours. Everybody wins.

  • Rico Suave

    Could it get any slower down at the DMV? I think to get slower they’d have to be going backwards.

  • Shawn

    It took me one hour before I walked out yesterday just to renew my license!!! Was not fun…..

  • Jasmine Ambry Hamsa

    im suppose to get my permit in 8 freaking days. i am going to be SERIOUSLY pissed if they shut them down, i will personally start an angry mob and i will protest until my arms fall off.

    • @Jasmine

      If you start an angry mob then you’ll be carted off to prison Einstein. So you’ll be inconvenienced? Who cares…some people won’t have a job. Grow up.

      • Jasmine Ambry Hamsa

        it was a figure of speech.
        and leaving a comment telling me to grow up wont help the situation.

  • Alisha Kania

    What is someone supposed to do if they need to renew their license????

    • Alex V

      You can renew it at a deputy registrar’s office. It won’t be processed and sent out until the shutdown is over, but the yellow paper you get will be good as a temporary license until you get the card in the mail.

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