Drivers are fed up with the DMV, so are California lawmakers

BRYAN ANDERSON

Sacramento Bee Political Reporter

Tyré Nichols had no clue what he was getting himself into. He went online, arrived at the office at 9:45 a.m. and brought all his necessary paperwork.

He expected to be in and out within a couple hours. And yet, there he sat six hours later, waiting outside the Department of Motor Vehicles in miserable 98-degree heat.

He soaked in the views of cars endlessly searching for imaginary spaces and watched the scores of people illegally cross a busy street. He was joined by the dozens more who couldn’t find a seat in the cramped office filled with a couple hundred people.

Nichols had plenty of company. There was the 92-year-old woman unable to take her renewal test by the 4:30 p.m. closing time after waiting in line since 10 a.m. There was Ben Koehler, who was celebrating his 28th birthday scurrying at the last minute to get his license renewed before it expired the following day. There were countless others with stories to tell, all of whom had one thing in common: They were furious.

“Wait times are increasing, the lines are going around the block.” “Having people wait 4, 5, 6, 7 hours is completely unacceptable.”

Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco

“Get ready to camp, because that’s what this DMV is all about,” Nichols said.

Over the last year, spiking wait times have hit particularly hard at DMV offices in the Sacramento region. Waits have increased by 60 percent, compared to a 48 percent increase in the Bay Area and 46 percent statewide. Some California lawmakers are infuriated with the DMV’s handling of the issue, accusing upper management of fudging wait times, misleading the public and poorly preparing itself for increased customer traffic expected with the advent of the Real ID card, which requires a visit to the DMV.

 

When the Legislature reconvenes on Aug. 6, rising wait times will be at the top of the list of priorities. Some are calling for a comprehensive audit into the department’s management, and Democrats are considering a plan to provide more money.

“Wait times are increasing, the lines are going around the block,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco. “Having people wait 4, 5, 6, 7 hours is completely unacceptable.”

 

“There were countless others with stories to tell, all of whom had one thing in common: They were furious.”

The Sacramento Bee

DMV Director Jean Shiomoto acknowledged the department has had problems implementing Real ID, but defended the DMV’s management of the problem. “We’re definitely not just sitting here in our offices,” Shiomoto said. “We’re getting out to the regional offices….We have hard-working managers.”

She said there have been bureaucratic delays in getting spending authority to hire more workers. Some employees have had difficulty adapting to the department’s updated system for managing workflow. And customers sometimes misread the wait time explanations on the department website or fail to bring proper documents to the field offices, she said.

We hope you were entertained while waiting.

Question: Have you booked a DMV Appointment?

FAMILY GUY DMV VIDEO

  We hope you were entertained while waiting. Question: Have you booked a DMV Appointment?    

GUNNY GOES TO THE DMV VIDEO

Gunny Goes To The DMV YouTube Animated Series. Marine Gunnery Sargent & His Alter Ego Lose Their Cool at DMV Office. They Needed DMVFASTPASS.

RECENT CUSTOMER REVIEW

"I am pleasantly surprised with how EASY my recent trip to the DMV was because of DMVFASTPASS. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Time is so precious and I'm grateful how much of mine you saved with your services."

You have Successfully Subscribed!

GET $5 FROM US TODAY

APPOINTMENT SURVEY REBATE: Book a DMVFASTPASS appointment & Complete our follow-up surveys. We will give you $5 cash on your credit card, immediately.

You have Successfully Subscribed!