SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — DMV customers have complained for months and now lawmakers are fired up. They want the DMV director to take accountability for long wait times and the outdated technology that could be the cause.
DMV Director Jean Shimoto told lawmakers at a budget hearing Tuesday that the department’s in the process of modernizing the computer system but the revamp won’t be done for three more years.
In the meantime, the director is asking for $26 million more for additional staff. That’s in addition to the $226 million the DMV asked for and received last year.
But lawmakers say before they approve new money they want to see how DMV plans to handle the switch to the federal Real ID cards.
Hours before the hearing started on Tuesday, the DMV announced a number of new ways it’s trying to reduce lines, including redirecting employees from its headquarters and 67 employees from other state offices to field offices across the state. They’re responsible for walking the line and making sure customers have the necessary paperwork.
The DMV is also adding self-serve registration renewal kiosks to 10 more field offices and 50 more grocery stores. It’s also launched two new pilot programs.
One will text message customers shortly before their service number is called. The other adds self-check-in kiosks so people can bypass the “start here” line. But lawmakers say none of that addresses false wait time estimates posted online.
The director will be back to answer tough questions on Wednesday. That’s when lawmakers are expected to vote on an audit of the DMV’s finances, to see where the money is really going.