March 20, 2019
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Mainers scramble to register vehicles as threat of shutdown looms

Danielle McLean | BDN
Danielle McLean | BDN
Bangor resident Sharon Greenleaf registered her company truck at Bureau of Motor Vehicles Bangor branch on Friday afternoon amid the threat of a government shutdown.

Bangor area residents on Friday scrambled to register vehicles and renew drivers licenses amid the threat of a state government shutdown.

Sharon Greenleaf, of Bangor, was among those running between Bangor City Hall and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Bangor branch on Union Street to register her company truck and pay its excise tax before her temporary plates expired on Tuesday.

“The whole thing took a little more than two hours. It was busy,” Greenleaf said.

Willard Henderson, of Dexter, was rushing to renew his driver’s license before a possible shutdown because he realized the night before that it had expired on June 9.

“I was told I should get it done today or it could be a couple of weeks,” Henderson said.

A Friday afternoon Maine House of Representatives vote jeopardized a budget compromise designed to avoid a shutdown. Even if that budget had passed Friday night with the two-thirds majority needed to send the budget to Gov. Paul LePage, he has said he would not act on it by midnight, which would trigger a shutdown.

[Maine House vote puts state on course to government shutdown]

Bangor City Hall would stay open during a government shutdown, but the city’s treasury department also saw increased crowds with people trying to payoff their excise taxes and renew their boat and vehicle registrations.

The city’s Tax Collector Brian Little suspects people “did not want to take the chance” of not being able to get their registrations renewed after the shutdown.

The BMV Bangor sees around 200 or 300 people on an average day, said Amy Kitchins, a Bangor bureau customer service representative. But an hour before close, it was nearing 400.

 



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