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Modernization of the DMV Continues Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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SACRAMENTO – As Californians adjust to the health, economic and societal challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles is adjusting along with them. In response to the pandemic, the DMV has accelerated implementation of technology and created new service channels to better serve its customers.

Since March, the DMV:

  • Made it easier to establish an online account
  • Expanded DMV Express statewide to expedite the REAL ID application process
  • Created the Virtual Field Office and continued to add new services to give customers the capability to take care of transactions online that previously required an in-person office visit
  • Added requesting a duplicate driver license as an online service, allowing customers to replace a driver license that has been lost or stolen without visiting an office
  • Began offering motor carrier permit renewals online
  • Expanded DMV Now Kiosk capability to include replacement registration cards and license plate stickers and added multiple languages
  • Launched a redesigned website
  • Completed the expansion of credit cards and mobile wallet payment options to all DMV offices

“This contactless delivery of service has allowed us to navigate through this pandemic and still serve customers,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon.

Among the upgrades, the DMV now offers customers statewide the opportunity to upload documents needed to apply for a REAL ID before their office visit. Customers then get an Express Experience once they visit an office – no appointment needed. The DMV leveraged this same technology to build the virtual office, which allows customers to upload documents and interact with DMV staff through email.

The DMV also has applied these upgrades to allow customers to receive paper driver license extensions online during the pandemic.

Over the past year, the DMV has also embarked on a network modernization effort to improve IT infrastructure, offer network stabilization and redundancy, and increase efficiencies in offices statewide to reduce processing times. This effort is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2020.

“We have come a long way in modernizing the DMV,” said Gordon, who was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom last July. “But we are not done. The next steps in our modernization journey include improved virtual office efficiency, fully digitizing items in the virtual office by increasing the use of technology, and to move more high-volume transactions out of field offices. The DMV continues to streamline and simplify processes, and engage with customers where they are, instead of making customers come to the DMV.”

In addition to technological enhancements, the DMV has implemented new health and safety protocols at offices to ensure customers who still must visit a field office do so in a safe manner.

DMV field office employees are assisting customers with current appointments at the specific office or with limited transactions that require an in-person visit. Last month, offices began offering additional services, including vehicle inspections and behind-the-wheel drive tests.

The DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals. Customers can use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

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State and San Bernardino County OK resumption of youth sports – with restrictions

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The State Department of Public Health has issued long-anticipated guidance allowing youth sports and physical education – including school-based, club, and recreational programs – to resume, as long as they are limited to groups of participants who regularly gather, such as a class or organized team, and only when physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.

Activities should take place outside to the maximum extent possible.

Sporting events, assemblies, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating, such as tournaments and competitions, are not yet permitted either indoors or outdoors.

“This is an opportunity for young people to stay healthy, stay in shape, and be ready when the State allows team and other group activities to resume,” said San Bernardino County Public Health Director Corwin Porter. The County Health Officer has approved implementation of the guidance within San Bernardino County.

(San Bernardino County Health news release)

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18-year-old U.S. Army Reservist Stationed at Ft. Irwin arrested on child porn charges

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FORT IRWIN, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old reserve with the United States Army National Guard stationed at Fort Irwin was arrested for possession of child pornography Wednesday, officials said.

Detectives from multiple agencies conducted a joint investigation involving the suspect, Neal McCoy, a resident of Fridley, Minnesota, and subsequently arrested him on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

McCoy was booked at the High Desert Detention Center for PC 311.11(A) Possession of Child Pornography with a bail set at $100,000. McCoy is scheduled for arraignment on August 7th.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children Detail (CAC), Barstow Sheriff’s Station, and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) worked together in their investigation.

In January 2020, VVNG reported on similar arrests after Steven Berg, 38, was arrested by investigators who determined that child pornography was distributed from a home within the base at Fort Irwin.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Brian Arias of the Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at (909) 387-3615. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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18-year-old out on bail arrested again after a pursuit in Victorville

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old out on bail was arrested again after leading Victorville deputies on a pursuit.

At about 2:28 AM on August 6, 2020, a deputy from the Victorville Police Station observed a vehicle run a red light at Amargosa and Palmdale Roads and attempted a traffic stop.

The driver, identified as Antoine Jackson, of Victorville, failed to yield and led deputies on a pursuit for approximately 7 miles, officials said.

During the pursuit, Jackson drove at high speeds, exceeding 100 mph at times. He also drove in opposing traffic lanes and ran several red lights and stop signs.

The pursuit came to an end in the 12500 block of Terrano when Jackson crashed into a parked car.

Jackson, who was out on bail from a July 28, 2020 arrest, was arrested and booked at High Desert Detention Center for VC2800.2(A) Evading a Peace Officer with disregard for safety and PC12022.1(B) New Felony Offense while on bail.

His bail is set at $100,000 and is scheduled for arraignment in a Victorville courtroom on August 10, 2020.

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