The Latest: DMV leader says recent wait times unacceptable
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on long DMV lines in California (all times local):
The leader of the California Department of Motor Vehicles says hourslong wait times at field offices in recent months have been unacceptable.
DMV Director Jean Shiomoto told lawmakers Tuesday that wait times spiked several months ago as Californians update their licenses to meet new federal mandated security standards known as Real ID.
Shiomoto says the agency underestimated how long it would take to explain the new requirements to customers and ensure they have necessary documents.
She says some offices have wait times of four to six hours and asked lawmakers for more than $20 million to hire more workers.
The department has already hired hundreds of additional employees to handle increased demand. The agency is also encouraging people complete some paperwork before arriving in person and is piloting text message alerts for waiting customers.
California lawmakers are seeking answers from the Department of Motor Vehicles about hours-long wait times that have prompted public outcry.
Assemblyman Phil Ting says the line at a San Francisco DMV office he visited last month snaked around the block. He says it looked more like a queue for rock concert tickets than for people trying to renew their licenses.
Ting will lead a hearing Tuesday to question DMV officials about what they are doing to reduce wait times.
Lawmakers have given the department millions of dollars in additional funding to accommodate higher demand as Californians update their licenses to comply with federally mandated security upgrades known as Real ID.
On Wednesday a separate legislative committee will review a request to audit the department’s handling of Real ID changes.