SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Governor Newsom calling for a sweeping change to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), calling the organization “chronically mismanaged.” He’s creating a task force to address several issues, including long wait times.
“They’re slow,” said Darryl Garron, who lives in Sacramento. “It’s ridiculous how slow they are here!”
The DMV says wait times could go up again if it doesn’t get $40 million in state funding for additional employees.
On his third day in office, Governor Gavin Newsom said the “California DMV has been chronically mismanaged and has failed in its fundamental mission to the customers it serves and the state workers it employs. It’s time for reinvention.”
“I hope it’s not no broken promises,” Garron said.
Newsom’s solution is to create a DMV reinvention strike team to overhaul the department. At its head would be California Government Operations Agency Secretary Marybel Batjer.
In a statement, she told CBS13: “It is critical that the DMV not only meets but surpasses the needs… of the people. I am honored to have been asked by Governor Newsom to lead this essential effort.”
Her job will be finding new leadership for the department and focusing on transparency, worker performance and speed.
“They need to upgrade their computers!” Garron said.
Assemblymember Jim Patterson has been an outspoken critic of the DMV.
“Throwing money at this has not changed the problem,” he said back in August 2018.
But Wednesday the Republican legislator found common ground with the newly-elected Democrat.
Patterson said via email “What a difference an election makes. The words he is using are music to my ears. I trust he’s serious and will follow through. I still intend to ask for an independent audit of the DMV. The California Auditor has proven to be exceptionally effective in discovering problems and offering pathways for improvement.”
Newsom says he expects an accelerated review of early findings of Governor Brown’s DMV audit within 30 days. CBS13 asked Garron how he would measure Newsom’s success?
“If I can come in here, and I’m in here less than 10 minutes, I think he did a good job,” Garron said.
We reached out to the DMV for comment and they sent a statement saying: “We welcome the expertise that Secretary Batjer brings during this critical time.”