DMV wait times exceeding 3 hours for most people

Posted at 4:32 PM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 19:32:54-04

If you’re planning to go to the DMV anytime soon, pack your patience.

The wait time just went from bad to worse.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has had system problems for the past two weeks, causing delays.

“We’ve been here for three hours already, still nowhere near getting called,” said Jackson Fajnor, as he waited for his number to be called at the San Luis Obispo DMV.

He arrived at the DMV office well before it opened, hoping to be one of the first people there. But to his surprise, there was already a long line. 

“There was probably a good 80-100 people waiting here. The line went all the way around and out into the parking lot,” Fajnor said.  

Sunny Beasley spent a total of five hours at the DMV office Wednesday

“Very frustrating," she said. "I think, you know, they need some kind of more employees perhaps.”

The DMV admits it’s experiencing delays due to system problems in various offices throughout California.  

Officials say it’s due to changes that include implementing the new REAL ID Act and because of a new electronic driver’s license and ID card application.

In a statement, a DMV spokesperson said, “We apologize for the delays. The DMV has increased the hours of our intermittent personnel to help ease the wait times in field offices.”

They also hired 330 new employees back in January for the launch of the REAL ID program and are hoping to hire even more staff at the end of the year to help reduce wait times.

“We are just being patient. That’s all you can do. We were here yesterday and it was the same process and we probably wouldn’t have got our number called so we came back today,” said Andrew Bishop, who had been waiting for three hours.

The DMV suggests making an appointment before coming into their office. As of Wednesday, the first available appointment at the San Luis Obispo office listed on the DMV website is on June 14.  

Beginning October 2020, you’ll need a REAL ID to board a domestic flight or enter most federal facilities and you must apply for it in person. You’ll need a proof of identity and California residency, plus your Social Security number.