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Lawmakers, Critics Blast DMV for Long Lines, Inefficiency

SACRAMENTO -- Six to eight hour waits without an appointment, and even hour-long waits with an appointment, have opened the door for some lawmakers calling on the California State Legislature's joint audit committee to order an audit of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

According to DMV, the long wait times are the result of the Real ID rollout. The new identification cards meet federal security standards.

The application process requires people to come in person and present specific documentation proving their identity.

In anticipation of the rollout, lawmakers allocated tens of millions of dollars to DMV to expand staffing and office hours.

"I appreciate the swift action of the Legislature to help the Department tackle these long waits with a new wave of employees," DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement. "Today’s wait times are unacceptable and we are continuing to take action to improve service for all Californians."

But as the long lines show, that hasn't worked as expected.

Cullen Grant, a DMV manager in Los Angeles, says long wait times are a symptom of a systemic issue within the department.

"Violations of law, gross inefficiency, gross incompetence, misconduct and waste of state resources," he said during a hearing Wednesday at the State Capitol.

Grant says these issues largely involve an outdated computer system.