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CA law could change vehicle registration requirements in effort to save time

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-02 21:55:45-05

Wait lines at California DMVs are notoriously long but a newly proposed state law aims to reduce wait times by changing the requirements for registering a vehicle.

Senate Bill 460 would change the requirement for registering a vehicle from annually to every two years.

For people like Adam Shaban, a San Luis Obispo resident who has been to the DMV twice in the past three months, the new law seems promising.

“It would be great, obviously less time out of my schedule,” Shaban said. “I have two little ones, so when they come with me, keeping them entertained is definitely a challenge.”

Shaban was able to get in and out of the DMV relatively quickly Saturday when fewer people made appointments. But when he registered his vehicle in November, he had to wait about 90 minutes in line.

“It requires taking time off work, downloading something on my phone to make the time go by,” Shaban said.

The average time spent in a California DMV dropped in November, according to state officials, falling from 130 minutes to 46 minutes in the que.

A newly proposed bill could spare even more time by requiring motorists to complete vehicle registration once every two years instead of annually.

Kenneth Coble, who stopped Saturday by for a smog exemption, is skeptical of whether the law would have a positive impact.

“I don’t think it will affect the lines at DMV at all,” Coble said.

He sees the legislation as a way for the state to receive money faster by taking two years of registration up front, though the bill does not specify what the fees would be.

“It would help if you were keeping a vehicle long term certainly, but when you turn over a vehicle, if you’re in the middle of that time period, I think it’s gonna be a problem,” Coble said.

Another related bill would allow motorists to pay all fees with a credit card instead of just cash or check at any office.

Shaban said he gives a green light to any measure that saves him time.

If the measure passes, it would take effect in July of 2020.