One hour. Two hours. Three hours. Four in line. Standing. Waiting. By now, it’s mid-afternoon, you’re still waiting in line at the DMV office. Exhausted. Tired. Hungry. Thirsty. Phone battery drained. You reach the front of this line – only to learn that this was simply to pull a ticket for a service number. 

With a ticket in hand, you find a seat – or perhaps a spot on the floor – and wait for your number to be called. News reports have mentioned that some people have waited as long as eight hours to speak with an employee. 

People take time off from work to drive to the DMV. Forgoing an entire day’s pay to renew one’s driver’s license is unacceptable. Unaccounted-for costs arise as people hire babysitters and school transportation. This is a complete waste of Californian’s time and money.

DMV officials blame the REAL ID Act for their ineptitude. Inexcusable. The long wait at DMV offices is bureaucratic incompetence at best. 

The Real ID Act passed in 2005. DMV officials have known about its 2020 effective date for 13 years. Where was the preparation and the timely training for employees to help Californians comply with this law? 

DMV was given millions of dollars specifically to prepare their equipment and train their staff. 

Last year, an extra $47 million was given to DMV to hire 550 new employees and extend office hours.

Now, DMV executives want more money. How will that help reduce the lines? What happened to the millions already given to the DMV? 

What is the DMV’s plan to end the tortuous wait times? 

California residents should never have to wait for hours outside in 100-plus degree heat just to see a DMV employee to update a government-mandated ID card. 

As lawmakers return from their summer recess this week, they should be mindful of the DMV’s mismanagement of their most routine responsibilities. 

Legislator should not throw even more taxpayer dollars at this irresponsible, sluggish department until DMV proposes a strategic plan to be more efficient.

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