California Dolphin: statewide California news

Seven hours at the DMV? Part of the blame goes to REAL ID: Roadshow

Q: One of your readers suggested Bay Area drivers go to the Tracy DMV to avoid long lines. Big mistake. I went there — with an appointment — and stood in line for an hour and a half and, after my business was done, I was there a total of two hours. I mentioned this to the clerk and her response was that the people without an appointment would be in the office for 3 or 4 hours so I should be happy it was only taking 2 hours. Really?
Elizabeth Erbert Livermore

Like Mr. Roadshow’s Facebook page for more questions and answers about Bay Area roads, freeways and commuting.

A: Really. Your two-hour wait could have been much longer as delays continue and they involve more than computer glitches.
Q:  The DMV has been crippled by the new REAL ID. Each person spends 10 to 20 minutes to complete all of the required steps. I went through the appointment process to get a REAL ID. I got in line a half-hour before opening. The DMV opened at 9 a.m. and after a quick 7 hours I left at 4:15 p.m.
Nanette Dentinger  Los Altos
A: A quick 7 hours? The longer wait times at various offices throughout the state have been due to changes that involve the implementation of REAL ID, a new queuing system and a new electronic application for driver licenses and ID cards. Folks are spending more time at the “Start Here” window, as staff explains REAL ID requirements to those unaware of the new option. In addition, they must spend extra time reviewing documents required to apply for a REAL ID driver license or ID card.
Q: Also, please complete both sides of the DMV form given out prior to office doors being unlocked. There are six questions, and, of course, Question 6  is on the back and many people don’t know this. Each person was told to go to the back of the line and complete the entire DMV document. Fun times at the DMV.
Nanette Dentinger
A: Another tip. Make an appointment, but know it can take several weeks to get one. So plan ahead.
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Q: To the writer who two weeks ago wrote about going the Tracy DMV: Wrong! We were there May 11 at 8:10 a.m. Extremely crowded! Got out about 2:30. Are DMV backups systemic?
James Hutson   Livermore
A: For now, yes. People renewing their vehicle registration generally do not need to visit a DMV office. Renewal transactions can be completed by mail, online, at a self-service terminal, at some Safeway stores or at AAA for members. Renewal notices for tags are mail-in, online or telephone only. Appointments should not be made for these tasks.
Go to www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/fo/sst/toc_fo and you can get more details.
Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at www.mercurynews.com/live-chats. Look for Gary at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.com .

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