Starting Friday, most state government offices will begin closing three days a month to save California some money.
The shutdowns are part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's order to furlough state employees, effectively reducing their pay about 14 percent. The closures are intended to aid the state as it wrestles with a steep decline in tax revenue.
But the move will take a toll on convenience.
Those who want to buy state licenses, get help with payroll taxes or ask for assistance filing disability claims will have to come back another day.
Among the closures Friday will be 169 Department of Motor Vehicle offices.
"You're probably going to have that little percentage of the public that don't watch the news and don't know what's going on," said DMV spokeswoman Jan Mendoza. "We're telling people we are going to be shortened down to four days a week, so make an appointment online and make your life easier."
The state Department of Personnel Administration decided it was easier to post a list on its Web site of the few services that will be available.
Parks, wildlife areas still open
Prisons, hospitals, the California Highway Patrol and state firefighters will continue to operate around the clock, and people can still go to state parks and wildlife areas.
In addition, more then half the Employment Development Department's 9,000 employees will be working Friday to help unemployed people file for jobless benefits by telephone and online. About 200 one-stop career centers will stay open to help with job searches and training.
"Those who need unemployment insurance benefits shouldn't see much of an impact," department spokeswoman Loree Levy said.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger imposed twice-monthly "furlough Fridays" in February for the first time in California history. But to keep most state offices operating five days a week, he later shifted to floating furloughs that employees could take anytime.
With the state now issuing IOUs and no budget agreement in sight, the Republican governor used his emergency powers to impose a third monthly furlough day starting this month to save an additional $425 million this year.
He also is proposing to cut state workers' pay another 5 percent. If lawmakers continue to balk, that could turn into a fourth monthly furlough day.
"I think it's a scare tactic, and I think it's disrespectful to hardworking public servants," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat whose Sacramento district is particularly hurt by the furloughs.
"If the governor's idea is to improve the economy here in California, taking 19 percent of peoples' purchasing power away from them does just the opposite," he said.
'Governor is punishing California residents'
Jim Zamora, spokesman for the largest state employees union, said it makes no sense to close state offices on Fridays when government was able to function for five months using floating furloughs.
"The governor is punishing California residents to make a political point," said Zamora, who represents Service Employees International Union Local 1000.
Trying to give furloughed employees a break, the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill barring discrimination lawsuits against businesses that offer discounts to public or private employees who are laid off or furloughed.
Attorney and retailers associations lined up in support of the bill after a Southern California lawyer threatened to sue businesses that singled out displaced workers for special treatment.