By Da Lin

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Despite serving more people in the last month, the California DMV said they’ve cut down on wait times by 30 minutes statewide.

Their goal is to drop another 20 minutes off the wait times by the end of September.

“We’re very hopefully and we’re happy to see more of this wait time reduction up and down the state,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). He said that despite the improvement, the wait times are still unacceptable.

“We know that improvement doesn’t happen overnight, that improvement happens over time. This problem came up over time as well with the appointment of the REAL ID,” said Ting.


The Claremont DMV in Oakland is one of the busiest offices in the Bay Area; the reported average wait time without an appointment at this office is almost 2.5 hours. Some customers said that it’s been longer than that.

The DMV said they’ve hired hundreds of new workers, brought back retired workers and are even loaning people from other state departments to help them speed up the lines.

In some offices, they’re extending hours and will be open Saturdays.

“I noticed the help outside. That was terrific,” said Moral Sebhatu, an Oakland resident near the Claremont DMV.

The DMV also said it has improved its technology and website to better help customers.

“It’s kind of reactive instead of proactive,” said Alameda resident Bill Roller.

The DMV now offers a new feature where one can get a text alert when it’s almost their turn. This feature allows people to go get coffee or do something else while they wait.

The problem is that a lot of people don’t know about it yet; they have to ask the customer rep about it to find out.