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Katy Grimes

Incompetent CA DMV Had 13 Years To Implement Real ID Program

Those incredibly long lines at California DMVs look more like the release of the iPhone X or ticket sales for Beyonce and JayZ. But they are not. People are stuck in long DMV lines just to renew and update their drivers licenses.

Yet the notorious California Department of Motor Vehicles is about to be rewarded for its ineptitude and failures by the California Legislature with an unlimited budget.


News outlets throughout the state have written about 4, 6, and even 8+ hour waits since the January implementation of the DMV’s Real ID program 

Republican Gubernatorial candidate John Cox has been traveling around the state visiting DMVs handing out bottled water and talking with the folks waiting in these long lines.

What’s the problem at the California DMV besides plain old government incompetence and arrogance?

Real ID Issues

The California DMV has had since 2005 to figure out how to implement the Real ID program.

But when the Department of Homeland Security announced that REAL ID enforcement would begin on February 5, 2018, California irresponsibly began its program, without a plan.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, “the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government ‘set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.’ Passed by Congress in 2005, The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards.”

So, despite having 13 years to implement a Real ID, as most other states already have, the California DMV asked for extension after extension — for 13 years. Then, they abruptly started issuing the Real ID in January –even though DHS has not yet approved California’s version.

I contacted DHS and asked if the approval has not been granted because California issues California Drivers Licenses to illegal aliens under Assembly Bill 60, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, because the California DMV has been spending vast amounts of resources on making sure illegal aliens have proper identification over California citizens being able to acquire the Real ID.

Or because Gov. Jerry Brown signed the “Gender Recognition Act” allowing people to change gender on their California Drivers License and birth certificates. CA now allows a third gender on the drivers license — a “nonbinary” designation – again, because the California DMV has been prioritizing the gender confused over California citizens being able to acquire the Real ID.

Or is there some other reason?

DHS replied back that they “are in the process of reviewing California’s compliance certification and cannot discuss either internal or external deliberations at this time.”

Why No Audit?

Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) requested an audit of the DMV, but at the direction of Gov. Jerry Brown, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee rejected the audit. Brown assured Democrat lawmakers that he would fix the DMV’s problems.

I’m not sure how Jerry Brown, who has never had to wait in line at the DMV with the great unwashed and unserved, knows what to do to fix this – other than throw more money at the problem.

This reminds me of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Giving an unlimited budget to the California DMV is no different than giving unlimited amounts of heroin to an addict.

Gov. Brown, along with current and former lawmakers enjoys special concierge DMV services at their own private DMV. The tiny, unmarked DMV office is buried deep inside of the Legislative Office Building across the street from the Capitol, devoted to serving the Legislature and its staff. And it is not open to the public. The office serves members of the Legislature and Congress, legislative staff; employees of the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the Legislative Counsel and the Legislative Data Center; and elected and appointed officials.

A friend’s college age daughter who recently lost her drivers license, tried to get an appointment with her local DMV for a replacement license, but was not able to get in until October. She remembered hearing about the Capitol DMV. She went to the special Capitol DMV office and tried to get a replacement license this week but was turned away. Oddly, she said she was initially told at the Capitol DMV office that they only serve constituents. When she identified herself as a Sacramento voter and constituent, she was then told the special Capitol DMV only serves Capitol government employees. They sent her on her way without a replacement license. To hell with you, peasant!

The CA Legislature has created these problems, and just yesterday a legislative committee passed a bill to allow the DMV to request unlimited future funds with little oversight.

As for the special Capitol DMV office for the elitists in the Legislature, I’m thinking it should be shut down until the DMV is cleaned up statewide, and wait times are reduced to 1 hour or less. Let the lawmakers stand in an 8-hour line. The audit would be approved immediately.

If I can apply for most things online and have them ready for pickup when I arrive, why can’t the DMV?

Assemblyman Jim Patterson wanted to know how often DMV computer systems crash? He asked DMV Director Jean Shiomoto in a committee hearing, but she said she didn’t know. Patterson said she told him she’d get back to him the next day…that was last week. He is still waiting.

How does Jean Shiomoto still have a job?

In California, the birthplace of the high tech industry, why can’t the DMV manage to put a reliable computer system in place? Why such gross incompetence? And why can’t a college student get a replacement drivers license before October?


Sign Patterson’s petition to #AuditTheDMV

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