DMV Announces New Efforts to Reduce Wait Times

Contact:  Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657–6437 |

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August 7, 2018

Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is 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. Customers have experienced longer-than-expected service times because of increased demand in the federal compliant REAL ID driver license or identification card.

“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,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said. “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 to 160.
  • 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. Find a location on the Saturday Service webpage.  
  • Early office hours: The DMV began offering extended hours at 14 field offices on July 16. The offices open at 7 a.m. four days a week. They continue to open at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays and close at 5 p.m. daily. For the list of office locations, visit the extended hours webpage.

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