CLARION – Calling it a disservice to rural residents, Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) said today that she is co-sponsoring legislation that would force PennDOT to resume full services at its travel sites across the state, including those in Clarion and West Kittanning.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 20 travel sites have not only reduced hours but eliminated various services. Currently, the Clarion and West Kittanning are among the travel sites that are only processing photos for driver’s licenses. Residents wishing to take driving tests or conduct other driver or vehicle services must travel to Punxsutawney or Butler.
“I find it incredibly frustrating that rural residents in need of various driver and vehicle PennDOT services, such as taking a driving test, must drive more than an hour, and in many cases, have needed to take time off of work or school,” Oberlander said. “This is especially difficult for residents who may not have internet access or need something processed quickly.”
Oberlander also said that PennDOT refuses to release a timeline of when the full array of services may resume at the travel sites. These sites are served by PennDOT staff who travel to the locations once or twice a week to offer certain types of services, such as driving tests or REAL ID.
“This administration continues to dismiss the needs of rural residents and sets up roadblocks for them trying to access vital government services,” Oberlander added. “That’s why my colleagues and I felt it was time to force their hand by introducing legislation that would require PennDOT to open these sites back up for all services.”
Under the proposal, PennDOT would be required to reopen the sites to the operational level that these sites were at prior to the pandemic within two weeks of enactment. The bill is expected to be introduced in the coming days.
Representative Donna Oberlander
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Algoe Keaton