[DMV] – Even as wait times begin leveling off since the launch of AB 60 in January, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced new appointment opportunities for customers who need to visit a DMV office and highlighted major transactions that can be handled online or by telephone to avoiding visiting the DMV altogether.
“We understand everyone’s time is important and are working to provide the best possible customer service to all Californians who visit the DMV,” said DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. “We are further increasing appointment opportunities and reminding customers that many routine transactions do not require visiting the DMV at all—so ‘Save Time and Go Online.’”
The DMV planned for a tremendous increase in traffic at its offices during AB 60 implementation, with a projected 1.4 million new customers over the next three years. DMV took steps to prepare including hiring 900 new employees, adding Saturday office hours, extending current office hours, opening four new offices and doubling the appointment window from 45 to 90 days. Since January 2, 2015, DMV has issued 79,000 new driver licenses under AB 60 and administered approximately 523,000 written and behind-the-wheel exams.
In addition to those efforts, the DMV is taking action to further expand appointment opportunities for the customers who need to visit a DMV office to renew a driver license—something that generally only has to be done in person once every 15 years. DMV has found that about 25 percent of applicants for a new driver license are not showing up to appointments and will be making those additional appointments available to all DMV customers.
DMV will also increase the number of available Saturday appointments at 60 field offices across California. Customers should expect to see new appointment opportunities between the hours of noon and 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
Since the first week of AB 60 implementation, the statewide average wait time for all customers with appointments has fallen 56 percent from 32 minutes to 14 minutes. Average wait time for walk-in customers have fallen 30 percent from 90 to 60 minutes. Of course, these are statewide averages and individual field office wait times vary by location and population density.
While DMV continues to encourage customers to make appointments before visiting a field office, DMV is also reminding everyone that many transactions do not require visiting a DMV office at all:
Top 5 Reasons NOT To Visit the California DMV
* Registration Renewal: Californians do not need to visit the DMV to renew registration because they can renew by mail, online, by phone, using a Self-Service Terminal, or visiting a DMV Business Partner or Auto Club. Be sure to complete any required smog inspection before renewing the registration.
* Address Change: Californians do not need to visit the DMV to report a change of address because customers can easily change their address online at dmv.ca.gov.
* Reporting a Vehicle Sale: Customers do not need to visit the DMV to report a vehicle sale because the forms for completing a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability can be completed online at dmv.ca.gov.
* Driver or Vehicle Record Request: Customers do not need to visit the DMV to get a driver or vehicle record because those records can be ordered online at dmv.ca.gov.
* Most Driver License Renewals: Most customers will not need to visit a DMV to renew a driver license because a new photo is only required every 15 years. Check the DMV notice carefully because most of the time customers will be able to quickly renew a driver license online, by mail, or by calling 1-800-777-0133.