The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is looking to improve wait times and increase service speed by moving more services online.

The state’s announcement is part of a broader initiative that has already made more than 90 percent of DMV transactions available online over the last few years. State leaders said that the DMV is also now offering an improved online customer experience that is faster, easier, and can be personalized. Those changes mean the DMV will house all of an individual’s driver’s license and vehicle-related information in one online location.

Beginning in June, the DMV will reduce wait times for customers by requiring the following transactions be completed through alternative, “out-of-office” options – including online and at DMV self-serve kiosks commonly found at both DMV locations and retail locations like grocery stores:

  • Simple vehicle registration renewals that are not past the due date.
  • Driver’s license renewals that do not require an in-person visit.
  • Requests for copies of vehicle registration records which show a vehicle’s ownership history.
  • Requests for copies of driver’s license records which show a driver’s history.
  • Replacing a lost or stolen driver’s license/identification card.

The DMV said this push to move more services online is partially so DMV offices can better accommodate Californians who need a REAL ID or otherwise must visit an office. In total, this online shift could potentially reduce DMV office visits by 200,000 customers per month, or 2.4 million trips in a year.

“We don’t want our customers to have to wait for service, and they don’t have to,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “The DMV is becoming a mobile-first operation, and simple renewals are easy self-help transactions that don’t require an office visit. Just go online. It will save you time, and it will save time for the Californians in our offices who need to be there. We have also shortened the time it takes to receive vehicle stickers and driver’s licenses. In most cases, you’ll have your item in less than two weeks.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs