California DMV customers angry over rising wait times
Gov. Gavin Newsom chastised California’s Department of Motor Vehicles at a budget unveiling on Thursday. He mocked them for not accepting customers’ credit cards at field offices and promised to make a change.
“We’re going to accept credit cards,” Newsom said. “It’s a governor in 2019 in California saying that we’re going to accept credit cards in 2019 at the Department of Motor Vehicles. That is in the ‘you can’t make that up’ file.”
While the DMV takes credit cards online, it doesn’t offer the service in person, the department confirmed. The DMV said customers are still able to pay through cash or debit card at field offices.
Newsom has been critical of the DMV since taking office earlier this week. On Wednesday, he deployed a six-month strike team to fix a department he considers “chronically mismanaged.” The governor said in the announcement he wants the group to make recommendations for “new long-term leadership and reform.”
The DMV is now under investigation for lengthy wait times customers experienced last summer. He ordered the Department of Finance to provide an “accelerated review of early findings” from its ongoing performance audit within the next month. The full audit is expected to be released in March.
Newsom’s budget proposal doesn’t add extra money for department. It maintains current funding levels. The DMV has warned lawmakers that wait times will increase unless it has an additional $40 million.