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Texts, self-services, extended hours among DMV’s efforts to reduce wait times

Posted at 1:07 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 16:07:51-04

The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced new efforts to reduce wait times Tuesday following lawmakers’ demand for answers.

The DMV says it will be redirecting 240 employees from their headquarters and other state agencies to "combat rising wait times at field offices."

"The DMV is bringing employees from various state agencies and departments to strengthen our hiring surge and help triage the longer lines at our offices," said Jean Shiomoto, a DMV director. "This year we have already hired 500 new employees, added Saturday service at 60 offices and opened offices an hour earlier in the most impacted areas. We expect the additional surge of employees will help further combat these wait times."

Aside from additional employees, the DMV listed options that are expected to help customers:

  • Text notification – A customer can use their cell phone number to get a text message before their service number is called, giving them the flexibility of leaving the office during their wait. This option is currently available in certain offices and will be launched statewide within the next two weeks, according to the DMV. 
  • Self-check in kiosks – Customers with appointments can bypass the "start here" window and instantly get their service number. 
  • DMV Now Self-Service Terminals – The DMV plans to add self-service vehicle registration renewal kiosks to 10 more field offices, and another 50 to grocery store locations later this year. This means there will be about 160 DMV Now Self-Service Terminals statewide. 
  • Saturday service – About 60 offices statewide began Saturday services on Aug. 4. 
  • Early office hours – The DMV opens at 7 a.m. four days a week, at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays, and closes at 5 p.m. 

This announcement came shortly after Assemblyman Phil Ting led a hearing questioning the department on their efforts to reduce wait times.