DMV Offices Close for Half-Day for ‘Operation Excellence’

SACRAMENTO -- An empty DMV parking lot on a weekday morning can be an odd sight.

While the doors were locked Wednesday morning, employees inside offices across were busy at work.

"Never have they done a training like this,” California DMV strike team lead Marybel Batjer said.

The leaders of the DMV strike team say the state-wide training was unprecedented as more than 5,000 employees in 183 DMV offices across California participated in the same 4-hour training Wednesday morning. The department dubbed it "Operation Excellence."

"Everyone hears a consistent message, is trained consistently on the same information, and they can then take those tools back to their work and make sure that they're delivering the consistent service to the customer,” Batjer said.

Governor Gavin Newsom's plan is to modernize the DMV by restructuring workflow and upgrading technology over the coming years.

The biggest challenge facing the department right now is the push for millions of Californians to get their Real IDs before next year's Oct. 1 deadline.

"Real ID has just complicated all of the things that a DMV technician has to know on a normal day," Batjer said.

Wednesday's training gave employees a chance to ask questions and get clarity about some of the complicated regulations for issuing Real IDs.

Officials hope it helps streamline some of the processes in the department, improve customer service and, ultimately, cut down on wait times.

"Success will be when there are no more wait lines either on the call center or in the field office. Success will be when the people of California are celebrating their DMV and not saying, 'Ugh, I have to go to the DMV,'” Batjer said. “That's success."

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