SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Department of Motor Vehicles staffers worked through the weekend to process more than 100,000 driver license or identification card requests that had been delayed by the latest foul-up by the troubled state agency.
Officials said the DMV began mailing out driver license renewal notices 90-120 days ahead of the customers’ expiration date beginning in September, and then 120-150 days in advance starting in November.
Unfortunately, the effort created “unforeseen complications in renewals conducted online and by mail that resulted in the new license not being issued.”
Thousands of Californians were left in limbo as their old licenses expired and they had not yet received their new licenses. The same issue confronted new residents who sought to replace licenses from their former state of residence with one from California.
“DMV staff worked through the weekend to resolve the issue and ensure that the driver licenses for individuals impacted are in production,” the agency said in a press release. “The department expects to have updated all the impacted records by the end of Tuesday, and customers can expect to receive the new cards within two to three weeks.”
Officials said approximately 150,000 driver license and identification card requests were impacted by the delays.
When customers originally complained about the delays, DMV officials said they mistakenly thought it was isolated to a small number of drivers.
“At first, the DMV believed the problem was isolated to customers who completed their renewal shortly after receiving their notice,” the agency said in the release. “Upon closer examination, the DMV discovered the renewal issues impacted a broader range of customers who renewed during that time period.”
Californians with a driver license expiration date between January 20 and May 31, 2019, who attempted to renew online or by mail at any point of their renewal cycle potentially could have been impacted and might not have received their license.
Immediately upon identifying the issue and the number of customers impacted late last week, the DMV took specific steps to help Californians experiencing driver license delays and prevent any more customers from also having similar issues. Among the actions:
- Manually updating the records of all impacted Californians, with an emphasis on making sure individuals whose driver license has expired or will soon expire receive their new license as quickly as possible. This is the department’s top priority.
- Alerting law enforcement that some Californians might have an expired license while they wait to receive their new card.
- Refunding any customers who paid twice trying to obtain their new license.
- Performing maintenance on the driver license online renewal webpage.
- Creating a special online form for customers to directly contact the DMV with their driver license information so they can be quickly assisted. The link is prominently displayed on the DMV’s homepage at http://www.dmv.ca.gov and has been shared on social media.
- Preparing DMV field office and employees at DMV call centers (1-800-777-0133) to assist customers who are waiting to receive their driver license.