By Maria Cid Medina

(KPIX 5) — A Bay Area man who’s been slogging through red tape at the Department of Motor Vehicles has gotten a surprise phone call from the director of the agency, who called to tell him his new driver license is on its way.

Roy Mize had been driving without a license for months and had no idea the DMV had made a mistake so he emailed the agency and got a call right away from DMV Director Jean Shiomoto.

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Mize said he hoped for a response but never expected it the form it would take.

“I was really surprised,” said Mize. “Two hours later I had a phone call from the director of the DMV.” Shiomoto was on the other line after reading Mize’s email.

He had gone home angry after his regular weekend trip to visit the Moffett Field historic museum. “The federal guard refused my entry,” said Mize. For the first time in more than 15 years, he was turned away. His driver’s license had expired and, surprisingly, the new Real ID that everyone must have to fly by 2020 was no good to NASA, which runs the museum.

“[The guard] said they couldn’t accept that and said they have been directed not to accept Real IDs without a supplementary identification,” said Mize.

However, Mize did apply for a new Real ID driver license. But the DMV sent him a Real ID, but just the identification card. It was not a driver license.

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Mize thinks the mistake probably happened because DMV workers are still learning how to process the new federally-required IDs.

In fact, the DMV is blaming unreasonable wait times at its offices on the new ID applications. Last week, Shiomoto asked for $26 million on top of millions it already received to hire more staff.

Four days later Shiomoto was on the phone with Mize, personally admitting to him they’d made a mistake and would correct it as soon as possible.

“Well, this morning about 10 o’clock I got a special delivery of a temporary driver’s license,” said Mize.

To help with the crush, the DMV is in the process of hiring hundreds more workers, expanding Saturday hours and opening some offices earlier during the week.

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Shiomoto said she sometimes receives emails from customers and normally forwards them to the appropriate person, but also occasionally contacts customers directly.