DMV Dissection Day 2: Denied Audit Means “Interminable Lines”

Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) (image courtesy of the California Assembly Republicans)

SACRAMENTO (KMJ) — An audit of the Department of Motor Vehicles has been rejected by state lawmakers, a move which has been described as sentencing Californians to long lines and delays for months to come.

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee heard Wednesday how the DMV continues to use a computer system first introduced in 1980. Whistleblower Cullen Grant told the hearing he had been working for the Department for 13 years. He is is currently a manger in the Los Angeles office.

“As the October 2020 deadline approaches, the number of customers seeking to obtain the Real ID will continue to increase and the long wait times will become even more worse than they are today,” warned Grant.

But Grant revealed that the rush of customers updating their driving licenses to meet the new federal standard is not the only reason for the delays.

“DMV Automation, DMV-A, was launched in 1980. It is still in use today. Literally registration transactions are processed on a green screen command line interface.

“DMV-A is overloaded and fraught with glitches, programming errors and limitations. All too often service to the public will come to a complete stop because of DMV-A. These events usually require computers to be rebooted and DMV programming to be reloaded.

“In fact last year’s massive outage was caused by a complete system failure of DMV-A.”

Those gathered also heard from witnesses detailing their own experience with the Department of Motor Vehicles, with many complaining about long wait times and a lack of appointments.

The Committee did not approve the request. The Assembly side posted the four votes required to proceed, but the Senate did not.

“These senators basically just said ‘trust the politicians, trust the DMV and the bureaucrats, don’t worry about the fact that they’ve failed over and over again and millions of Californians are waiting in long, long lines,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson following the result.

“Facts don’t matter. They made a political calculation and I’m going to be back the very first time that that committee reconvenes and I’m going to make another request, it’s probably going to be another six months or so from now, but I will be there to tell you ‘I told you so’.”

Hear the report from KMJ’s Dominic McAndrew as it aired: