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DMV closes offices 2 days a month starting today

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POSTED February 6, 2009 5:21 a.m.
If you plan to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles office today in Manteca, or in any other city or town, you won’t be able to get in. DMV offices are closed today, and every first and third Friday of the month from then on until June of next year.

You can thank California’s fiscal crisis and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for that. This DMV job furlough is part of the executive order signed by the governor addressing the ongoing fiscal belt-tightening in light of the state’s $42 billion deficit.

Affected by this DMV job furlough are the 9,000 employees statewide, said DMV spokesman Armando Botello.

While the announcement of the DMV job furlough and accompanying closure of DMV offices was made only Thursday to the news media, Botello said the signing of the executive order by the governor put the public on notice about this inevitable development.

“It has been covered widely by the news media because there was an attempt to stop (the job furloughs) in part by the (employee) unions and in part by the state comptroller’s office,” Botello said.

As part of the public notification regarding the twice-a-month closures, Botello said “some offices will have signs and some will even have banners. We also have a lot of our offices equipped with instant-messaging boards inside the office – anything that spreads out the word to let people know.”

During February, DMV offices will be closed today and Feb. 20. Offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays except Wednesdays when office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Botello said people can still do some business transactions during the days the DMV offices are closed by visiting the department’s web site at www.dmv.ca.gov for several online services such as paying for vehicle registrations and driver’s license renewals via secure debit transactions, change of address, and scheduling appointments. Those with no Internet access can also call a toll-free number for automated services. That number is 1-800-777-0133.

In a press release, DMV Director George Valverde stated that “if a field office visit is necessary, come prepared.

“Having all necessary paper and documents beforehand will help out and significantly lessen the impact. And, give the DMV the same level of priority as you would a doctor or dental appointment,” he said.

He also explained in the same media release that motorists whose registration renewals fall on one of the furlough dates will have their penalties waived until the next business day.

Here’s a list of the different transactions that customers can do online by accessing the DMV web site:

• Schedule office appointments for up to three transactions or for three separate customers

• Renew driver license

• Renew vehicle registration

• Make a change of address

• Register to vote

• Purchase personalized plates

• File a notice of release of liability

• Check the license status of driver’s education or traffic schools, new or used vehicle dealers

• File vehicle transfer forms

• Calculate fees and taxes due

• Request refunds

• Find the nearest DMV offices, hours of operation and wait times

• Make appointments for both car and motorcycle driving skill tests

• Study the Driver’s Handbook, the Motorcycle Handbook, the Parent-Teen Training Guide

• Take interactive driver’s license exams

• Answer the most frequently asked questions in extensive archives

The Manteca DMV office is located at 955 Davis Drive which is off Cherry Lane.

To contact Rose Albano, e-mail ralbanorisso@mantecabulletin.com or call (209) 249-3536.
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