DMV Director Issues Statement on Legislative Action to Address Wait Times, Boost Staffing

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August 8, 2018

Sacramento – California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Director Jean Shiomoto issued the following statement on the Legislature’s decision today to approve funding for 230 new employees and other actions to reduce DMV wait times: 

“I appreciate the swift action of the Legislature to help the Department tackle these long waits with a new wave of employees. Today’s wait times are unacceptable and we are continuing to take action to improve service for all Californians.”

On July 27, the Department of Finance, in partnership with the DMV, requested from the Legislature expedited approval for $16.6 million to hire 230 employees at field offices across California. 

Today’s action will build on multiple steps that the DMV has taken to try to reduce wait times and ease the burden on customers:

  • Redirected 289 DMV headquarters employees and staff from other state agencies and departments including the California Highway Patrol, to deploy to the busiest field offices.  
  • Added Saturday office hours at 60 field offices in the most impacted communities.
  • Opened 14 field offices one hour earlier, at 7 a.m., four days a week. 
  • Expanded the DMV Now Self-Service Terminals into six additional field offices, with four more on the way. 
  • Hired 500 new employees.
  • Rescinded any prohibition of food and beverages within DMV facilities.
  • Added triage employees to aid customers waiting in lines outside DMV offices to help expedite transactions, answer questions, and help in other ways. 

In additions to the steps already taken and today’s announcement, the DMV is preparing additional improvements:

  • Mailing driver license or ID card renewal notices earlier to give people more time. 
  • Continuing to increase the amount of front line employees.
  • Allowing customers to leave the DMV line and return later when they receive a text message before their service number is called. 
  • Supplying customers who do not have access to a cellphone or computer with handheld devices they can use to fill out electronic driver license applications while they wait in line. 
  • Expanding DMV Now Self-Service Terminals – that allow Californians to renew their vehicle registration without going to a field office – into 50 more grocery stores, bringing the statewide total to 160. 

The DMV reminds customers that many transactions can be completed without visiting a field office, including vehicle registration and driver license renewals, and people can save time by booking an appointment and filling out the driver license application online before they visit a field office. For more information on all online services visit here.