CALIFORNIA — The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will close its offices statewide for a half-day on July 24, 2019, to better prepare employees to process REAL ID transactions and reinforce training on providing excellent customer service.
Operation Excellence: DMV Training will result in more consistent customer experiences statewide and equip employees with the tools they need to handle an unprecedented volume of REAL ID applications, which are more complex and take more time to process.
The training will take place at 183 DMV field offices, Commercial Drive Test Centers and Industry Business Centers throughout the state. More than 5,000 employees will receive the training at their home offices, which will open for business at 1 p.m.
“Our employees are at the heart of every transaction we perform,” said Kathleen Webb, DMV acting director. “With this commitment to training, we can ensure they have the proper tools, knowledge, and experience to provide excellent customer service to the people of California.”
DMV Call Centers (1-800-777-0133) will remain open during the half-day office closure. Customers also will be able to:
- Conduct transactions online, at dmv.ca.gov, including renewing a vehicle registration, changing an address, requesting a copy of their driving record or making an appointment.
- Conduct transactions at DMV Now self-service kiosks located at grocery stores and select libraries, such as renewing a vehicle registration, filing for planned nonoperation (PNO) status, submitting an affidavit of non-use, submitting proof of insurance, and paying a $14 insurance reinstatement fee. A map of kiosks can be found online: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/about/sst_map.
- AAA members may visit AAA offices to conduct some transactions, including vehicle registration renewal.
- Registration services also are available at California DMV Business Partners for a fee. Customers can search for partners with this online map: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/bp_locator/reg_svc.
Operation Excellence is an initiative of the DMV Reinvention Strike Team, which Governor Gavin Newsom created in January to lead a comprehensive modernization and reinvention of the DMV with an emphasis on transparency, worker performance, speed of service and overall consumer satisfaction. The Strike Team was created in response to long wait times in DMV field offices, which were exacerbated by the federal government’s REAL ID requirements.
Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require passengers flying within the United States to present a REAL ID-compliant driver license or identification card – or a passport or passport card – before boarding a plane. REAL ID-compliant cards or another federally approved document will also be required to enter secure federal facilities such as military bases.
“The unprecedented complexity of the REAL ID requirements is what led to the idea that we needed to take the extraordinary step of closing DMV offices for a short time to make sure all employees have consistent information in order to complete the transactions successfully,” said Government Operations Agency Secretary Marybel Batjer, who is leading the DMV Strike Team. “It is a complicated transaction and we want customers to be well prepared in order to receive their REAL ID efficiently.”
The DMV already is experiencing unprecedented demand for its services because of a greater volume of REAL ID applications, which must be done in person in the field office and cannot be processed online or via the phone. In addition, field offices are experiencing their normal summer surge of new drivers seeking licenses.
Field offices need to be prepared for at least a doubling of customer volume as the enforcement date approaches. On July 1, 2019, the DMV will open an additional 53 field offices early to handle the summer surge, bringing to 69 the total number of offices that open at 7 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to accommodate the increase in customers. The DMV also now offers Saturday service at 62 offices.
Curriculum for Operation Excellence addresses the specific challenges DMV employees have identified in processing REAL ID transactions. Frontline staff will receive detailed training and a toolkit they can utilize immediately for processing REAL ID driver licenses and identification cards in the field. They also will be trained on best practices on delivering excellent customer service.
This half-day effort is the start of ongoing training around REAL ID and builds on DMV’s renewed commitment to providing sufficient training on all significant policy and procedure changes.
Operation Excellence addresses findings in a March 2019 report by the Department of Finance’s Office of State Audits and Evaluations, which determined training to be lacking at DMV. Report recommendations include more timely and comprehensive training for new hires and expanded training opportunities, particularly surrounding significant changes to policies and procedures including REAL ID.