California Department of Motor Vehicles could see overhaul - The CW San Diego - News 8

California Department of Motor Vehicles could see overhaul

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/AP) — An overhaul of California’s DMV offices could be coming – if Governor Gavin Newsom has his way after saying the agency was “chronically mismanaged.”

According to the AP, Newsom is launching an effort to modernize the state's embattled Department of Motor Vehicles.

Among the many problems plaguing the DMV are those related to the 'real ID' - the new form of higher-security identification that will be required starting October of 2020, to fly domestically as well as enter U.S. military bases and federal buildings.

The Department of Homeland Security has yet to formally certify that the state is in full compliance with the federal program, and because of the current government shutdown, it remains unclear when that approval would be granted.

Fortunately, the DHS did grant a last-minute reprieve to California after the state’s previous extension was set to expire this week. Had that extension not been granted, all California driver licenses and ID cards would have been invalid for domestic air travel.

California has already sent out more than three million of the ‘real ID’ cards which are supposed to provide an extra layer of security. The federal government, however, said the state’s DMV should be requiring two forms of identification, not just one – claiming its current process is inadequate.

California’s DMV had said it was verifying applicant’s residency by requiring residents to show one form of ID, then mailing the ‘real ID’ card to that address – which would serve as the second form of verification. It was process that according to the state, the feds had previously approved.

Those ‘real ID’s’ already issued by California will remain valid. Starting in April, the DMV will require Californians applying for the card to show two forms of identification.

Also, if you are flying domestically BEFORE October 2020, you will be able use your regular, unexpired California driver license to get on board.

Newsom on Wednesday appointed Marybel Batjer to lead a "strike team" focused on finding new DMV leadership and recommending reforms to improve service. Batjer is the secretary of the state government operations agency and will retain that job during her six-month role at the DMV.

The DMV has been under fire for long lines and voter registration errors. It's under a state audit and its former director, Jean Shiomoto, retired last month.

Newsom says the agency is failing in its mission to serve customers.

Newsom didn't announce an expected price tag for modernizing the agency.

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