Budget crisis: 9 MVD offices closing today

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PHOENIX -- A move meant to save the state some money means you could spend more time in line when getting your driver's license or registering your car.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is closing nine Motor Vehicle Division offices today in an effort to help balance its $100 million budget deficit.

The state has cut ADOT's budget, like many other agencies, to help deal with the massive budget shortfall that state legislators have been working for months to close. Money for transportation services in Arizona was reduced by 25 percent.

Two MVD offices in the Valley will be closing their doors -- 27th and Washington streets in Central Phoenix and Sossaman Road and Main Street in East Mesa . Offices in Ajo, Benson, Bisbee, Fredonia, Kearny, Superior and Willcox will also close. Offices in Clifton and Williams were initially slated for closure, but word came Friday morning that those locations would remain open.

Those 11 offices served about 28,000 people per month. Almost half of those were at the Central Phoenix location.

The closures leave 50 MVD offices in operation. In addition, many services are available online at ServiceArizona.com, as well as at 140 third-party locations throughout the state.

In addition to the MVD office closures, ADOT has implemented several other cost-cutting measures. Not only did the agency lay off 115 employees at the end of last year, it suspended operations at 13 highway rest areas in October and is cutting back on roadway maintenance and construction.