September 18, 2019
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Mainers frustrated by BMV closure on first weekday of government shutdown

Danielle McLean | BDN
Danielle McLean | BDN
John Pillsbury Jr. was among several Bangor-area residents who showed up to the Bangor branch of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles on Monday only to find the doors locked due. Monday marked the first regular business day the BMV and many other government agencies closed its doors as a result of the shutdown.

Several Mainers showed up to the Bangor branch of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles on the first weekday of Maine’s state government shutdown, only to find the doors locked.

In one half-hour period on Monday afternoon, three Bangor-area residents tried renewing their licenses or getting vehicle permits at the branch at the Airport Mall on Union Street only to find the doors locked, the lights off and no sign on the door saying why.

John Pillsbury Jr., of Bingham, was among the disappointed would-be BMV patrons who said they forgot about the government shutdown. He had taken the afternoon off from work to renew his recently expired driver’s license.

“I have someone driving me because I don’t drive without my license,” said Pillsbury. “This is inconvenient. Now I’m going to have to take more time off work.”

Most of Maine’s government shut down for the first time since 1991 at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday after Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives failed to agree to a two-year budget compromise.

James Hutchinson, 23, of Bangor, also forgot about the government shutdown when he showed up to the BMV to replace his expired driver’s license. The Bangor resident had received a 90-day extension to replace his ID that expired on April 21 and worried the government shutdown could make it harder to get a new one before the July 21 deadline.

“I’m not sure when it’s going to open back up,” Hutchinson said. “I’m hoping it will be fine.”


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