A.L. license center won’t shut down

Published 4:53 pm Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brian Butler of Minneapolis came Thursday to the Freeborn County License Center to renew a title while in town for business. Butler said he had heard license centers would be closed under a potential government shutdown, so he hurried in to avoid any delays. He found out the license center in Freeborn County will not be closing as it is county-operated. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

With ideas that all license centers across the state would be closed in the event of a government shutdown, residents flooded the Freeborn County License Center Thursday to get up-to-date on their documentation.

When they arrived at the Freeborn County facility, they found out otherwise.

Freeborn County’s license center will actually not be closing because it is county-operated, said Sue Wagoner, supervisor in the Freeborn County Deputy Registrar’s Office.

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Wagoner said license centers are either operated by the city, county or state, or are privately operated. Since Freeborn County’s center is operated by county employees, it will not be affected the same as the license center in Rochester, which is operated by the state.

Driver exams, either the written or road test, however, will not be conducted, along with other tasks handled by the state motor vehicle employees, including suspension and revocation fees and driver records.

Wagoner also has been notified that license center employees cannot process Department of Natural Resources licenses, provide expedited title service or do inspections on salvage or reconstructive vehicles.

People will not be able to go online and get their tabs renewed because there won’t be anyone from the state to mail them out. Online duplicate title services will not be able to be used for the same reason.

So what will still be available?

Wagoner said the license center will be open for people wishing to renew their driver’s licenses or tabs or to get new license plates — until supplies run out, that is.

She estimated there are at least two to three months worth of license plates left — about 1,000 regular plates — and probably six months of tabs — or 12,000 to 14,000 tabs — left.

Workforce center

Minnesota Workforce Development Inc. closed the doors of its workforce center in Albert Lea Thursday in anticipation of a state government shutdown.

Employees placed a sign on the door at about 4:30 p.m., advising people of the closure. At this point, the facility is expected to be closed at least Friday and all of next week.

People are being directed to www.BeReadyMN.org.