Countless numbers of Californians have been complaining about the extraordinarily long wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Even those with appointments are not being seen in a timely manner. To see how the Legislature can make improvements, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has called a hearing to be held on August 7th at the State Capitol.
“I experienced long lines myself when I visited the San Francisco office last week. They were unbelievable. What Californians are experiencing at our DMVs is unacceptable,” said Ting. “It’ll get worse if we don’t fix it now because more and more Californians will be switching from their current driver license or state ID to the new federally-compliant Real ID card.” (This picture show the line I encountered at the DMV in San Francisco.)
Beginning October 2020, a Real ID is necessary to board a domestic flight or enter a federal facility. In anticipation of a growing demand to meet the deadline, the new California state budget allocated $16 million to the DMV to:
- Hire about 400 new people by mid-Fall
- Increase the number of offices offering Saturday service & expand those hours to every Saturday starting August 4 (currently 43 offices are open every 1st & 3rd Saturday)
- Upgrade the self-service kiosks
- Allow customers to start application process online for driver licenses and state IDs
“I’ve heard of people waiting seven hours to be seen as walk-ins. Online appointments are two months out with slots often available after their license or car registration has expired. This hearing will help us determine the best course forward and whether this year’s state funding is adequate,” said Ting, who is Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.
While August 7th at 11:00 a.m. has been set for the DMV hearing, a room number at the Capitol has not yet been assigned. More information to follow as the date gets closer.