Politicians searching for a fix to long DMV wait times

POWAY (KUSI) — Sacramento Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing: the California Department of Motor Vehicles is a mess.

Inefficiency and impossibly long waits for service were discussed this week at two legislative hearings in Sacramento.

Amid the growing calls for repairing and reforming the DMV, gubernatorial candidate John Cox said the state should bring in experts from the private sector to implement changes.

On Thursday, Cox, the Republican candidate for governor said there needs to be more accountability for the agency, which has seen a spike in office wait times, because of more applicants seeking the federal compliant REAL ID.

At a legislative hearing on Tuesday on the department’s budget, DMV director Jean Shiomoto asked for $26 million to hire more employees. Democrats like San Diego Assemblymember Todd Gloria said lawmakers earlier approved more funding to create additional positions, but “clearly, it’s not meeting the mark.”

Gloria said there’s a need for more change at the agency. “We need to figure out what that is, and implement that as soon as possible,” Gloria said. The DMV is already in line to receive close to $17 million to hire 500 new employees.

Even with more staff, many lawmakers believe the agency’s problems may persist. This week, some Republican lawmakers on a joint legislative audit committee called for a state audit of the DMV.

The request was not approved, when three Democrats on the committee decided not to support the audit.

Candidate John Cox said he favors a DMV audit. “When I’m the governor of this state, we’re going to have full transparency and full sunlight. I’ve made that my mission and that’s what’s going to happen,” Cox said.

The DMV has promised rapid improvements to its operations, with technology changes and the hiring of more personnel.

The agency said that DMV users will see reductions in wait times by mid-September and more reasonable wait times by the end of the year.

Categories: Local San Diego News