DMV Reports on Wait Times at Senate Transportation Committee Hearing

October 04, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Senate transportation committee members met Thursday with the head of the Department of Motor Vehicles, receiving an update on efforts to eliminate interminably long lines at field offices that have generated a torrent of complaints from the public.

“This hearing is part of the committee’s on-going oversight of the DMV’s actions and to hold the department accountable for promises it has made to the Legislature and the public to reduce wait times,’’ said Beall, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. “The hearing was an opportunity to look at possible legislation and budget proposals that can increase efficiency. I will also be examining the DMV’s work plan for efficiencies.’’

Senator Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, a committee member, said, "We demand excellence from the DMV because we must - the neighborhood DMV office is where more Californians engage face-to-face with state government than anywhere else. Until complaints from my constituents turn into compliments, I will push the DMV to do better. The public needs to know we are going to make things right."

DMV Director Jean Shiomoto reported that during August and September, the department reduced wait times by a total of 57 minutes.  

In September, DMV hired 1,074 new workers to improve service, a DMV summary said. The department is also providing additional services online and through its business partners. Officials also plan to bolster outreach programs about REAL ID cards to ensure customers have the necessary documentation when they arrive at field offices. 

During the past two years, the Legislature has earmarked over $86 million for DMV to handle the demand for REAL ID cards. In addition, the Legislature also granted the DMV the authority to seek additional funding with the approval of the Department of Finance. Last month, the Department of Finance said it would conduct a performance audit of the DMV.