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DMV Wait Times are Already Getting Shorter — But Do Customers Think It’s Enough?

SACRAMENTO -- New data shows wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles have reduced and in some places, like Sacramento, field offices have seen a significant drop in customer wait times.

Spiking wait times at DMV offices over the past year have drawn scrutiny from both lawmakers and the public, who point to poor planning for increased customer traffic as a result of the new Real ID cards.

While many customers at the DMV along Broadway in Sacramento were pleased with their wait times on Thursday, others were not and experienced what many have gone through recently -- long lines and even longer wait times.

Customer Armando Gutirrez told FOX40 he waited an hour and 45 minutes to renew some tags.

"It's terrible, it really is," he said. "For simple questions, we have to wait an hour or an hour and a half. I think a lot of these transactions can be done online now."

"I did ask and they just said they are running a little behind," said DMV customer Jillian Johnson.

But according to the DMV numbers released Thursday, wait times at field offices across the state are down and are significantly lower in our region by an average of 50 minutes.

At the Broadway DMV their wait time was reduced by 65 minutes.

"We are seeing the results of having our loan-in staff out here helping us out," said California DMV Director Jean Shiomoto. "And then the authority we did get to hire additional staff, we are seeing that we are able to serve more customers and get them processed a lot faster."

The DMV received more than $16 million recently to resolve the problems with spiking wait times. The addition of 166 new employees is starting to have an impact, as well as adding an "expedite" window and self-serve kiosks.

It's all in an effort to get customers in and out of the field offices in 30 minutes or less.

"We would like to get back to our wait times before," Shiomoto said. "We want to make it a better customer experience and we understand the frustration our customers with the longer wait times, so we are working hard to get those down."

The director also said the region will be receiving 50 additional self-serve kiosks by the end of the year at different locations throughout the area.