SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California Department of Motor Vehicles wait times improved by an average of 30 minutes statewide between July and August, the agency announced Wednesday.
The news came after hours-long waits at some DMV offices spurred public outcry and prompted an August hearing in the state Legislature.
During a tour at the end of the month, the DMV says wait times across Northern California had dropped by 50 minutes.
DMV officials say they’ve hired additional staff and brought back retired workers to speed up transactions. They’ve blamed new technology and federal security standards known as Real ID for the problems.
DMV Director Jean Shiomoto called the wait times unacceptable when testifying last month before lawmakers at the hearing. She vowed to fix the problem.
The agency reported to lawmakers Wednesday that customers without an appointment spent an average of 100 minutes waiting in line during the week ending Aug. 25.
Wait times vary significantly across the state from a low of three minutes for customers with an appointment in Napa or Fall River Mills to a high of 158 minutes for walk-ins in West Covina.
The Real ID standards were passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and require 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.
Lawmakers have given the DMV millions of dollars in additional funding to accommodate higher demand as Californians update their licenses to comply with the security requirement.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.