Lawmakers to question DMV about long lines, meanwhile DMV announces new efforts to help

Lawmakers to question DMV about long lines, meanwhile DMV announces new efforts to help
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California lawmakers are seeking answers from the Department of Motor Vehicles about hourslong wait times that have prompted public outcry.

Assemblyman Phil Ting will lead a hearing Tuesday to question DMV officials about what they are doing to reduce wait times.

Lawmakers have given the department millions of dollars in additional funding to accommodate higher demand as Californians update their licenses to comply with federally mandated security upgrades known as Real ID. The federal law was enacted in 2005 in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and requires new ID cards to carry special markings.

After Oct. 1, 2020, airport security checkpoints won't accept non-compliant cards. Californians must apply for new cards in person at DMV offices.

Meanwhile, the DMV announced Tuesday they're taking a number of additional actions - including redirecting 240 employees from the DMV headquarters and staff from other state agencies and departments- to combat rising wait times at field offices.

In a press release, the DMV Director Jean Shiomoto says, "The DMV is bringing employees from various state agencies and departments to strengthen our hiring surge and help triage the longer lines at our offices. This year we have already hired 500 new employees, added Saturday service at 60 offices and opened offices an hour earlier in the most impacted areas. We expect the additional surge of employees will help further combat these wait times."

The redirected employees are triaging the lines to ensure customers have the required documents to complete their transaction and get a service number faster. They are also assisting customers with filling out the Electronic Driver License and ID Card Application.

The department is using a variety of additional options to reduce wait times. Some of the timesaving solutions include:

Piloting a text notification option. If a customer provides their cell phone number when they check in, they can receive a text message shortly before their service number is called. This provides flexibility so they do not have to wait inside a field office. The DMV is piloting the text notification option in several field offices across the state and working to launch this statewide within the next two weeks.

Piloting self-check-in kiosks. Customers with appointments can bypass the "Start Here" window and use a kiosk to instantly receive their service number. This option is being piloted in the South Sacramento field office and the San Jose Driver License Processing Center.

Expanding DMV Now Self-Service Terminals: This month, the DMV will add the self-service vehicle registration renewal kiosks to 10 additional field offices. Later this year, the department will expand to 50 additional grocery store locations, bringing the statewide total of DMV Now Self-Service Terminals

Saturday service expansion: The DMV expanded Saturday service to 60 field offices on August 4. Offices are open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.