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PennDOT secretary says state furlough will have major impact on services

PennDOT’s secretary says the shutdown of many state services due to the budget impasse will affect a number of services they offer to Pennsylvania citizens.
“Some services that people expect from us simply will not be available,” PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler said. “Also, highway maintenance will come to a virtual halt with the exception of those activities that are essential to motorists safety.”
The impacts that will affect PennDot’s services will include the temporary closure of PennDOT’s 71 driver license centers, 26 separate photo-only centers and the customer service area at the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg. Mail processing of driver license and motor vehicle renewals and applications will also cease.
Individuals will not be able to take the knowledge test to obtain a learner’s permit, take the on-the-road skills test, get a photo taken, get a duplicate license or registration, register a changes of address, or transfer an out-of-state driver’s license to Pennsylvania.
PennDOT will only have one or two roadway maintenance crews in each county, based on the county’s size. Normally PennDOT has 7,354 employees involved in day-to-day roadway maintenance activities. However, there will only be 950 employees responsible for maintaining nearly 40,000 miles of roads.
All highway and bridge design being conducted by PennDOT employees will also cease and the state’s 15 welcome centers will be closed.
Customers will still be able to renew driver licenses, vehicle registrations and change addresses on the Internet at or by visiting an online messenger service.
Services that are essential to public health and safety, which includes bridge inspections, construction inspections, oversize hauling permits and material testing will continue.
The temporary layoffs are due to the impasse between the Pennsylvania State Senate and Governor Rendell on his proposed $27.3 million budget.