8/5/11 – State transportation officials have decided against closing 16 motor vehicle offices around the state, as part of a re-organization plan. D-O-T Secretary Mark Gottlieb says that all current D-M-V centers will stay open – four new centers will be created – and the total statewide service will be expanded by 620 hours a week. There will be no changes at the Beaver Dam location and preliminary plans to close a travel office in Fort Atkinson have been scrapped. Gottlieb said he heard from lawmakers and others when the agency announced its original plans a couple weeks ago. He said the new re-organization will cost more, but it’s the best way to expand motor vehicle services. The new centers will be located in Viroqua, Alma, Keshena, and the South Eau Claire-Fall Creek area. They’ll open in early 2012. The re-organization was required because of the new photo I-D law for voting. D-M-V centers will give free I-D’s to voters who need them. And the new state budget demanded that each county have at least one motor vehicle center that’s open 20-hours-or-more each week. Until now, only 30 of the 72 counties met the 20-hour requirement.