Woman feels 'scarred and robbed of an entire day' after waiting in line at the DMV for 9 hours

The line at the Claremont Avenue DMV office in Oakland, Calif. (Photo: Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

A trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is something everyone dreads — even, we assume, the people who work there. It’s a place full of lines, government forms, and stressed-out people who were hoping to run a quick errand.

Add a nine-hour wait to that equation, and you can understand how one woman was almost brought to tears. “I feel scarred and robbed of an entire day by having to wait at the Los Gatos DMV,” she said.

As of Oct. 1, 2020, passengers on domestic flights will be required to provide a REAL ID-compliant card. Naturally, people who travel often or plan to are opting to get their REAL ID now; on top of that, those whose IDs have expired are also heading to the DMV to renew and start the process of getting their REAL ID. You must apply for a REAL ID in person.

In January, the DMV hired 330 new employees in California and is expected to employ 715 more to meet the demands of those who need REAL IDs. In July, 43 DMV offices will be open on the first and third Saturday of each month.

Until then, people are experiencing limbo.

One woman who needed to renew her driver’s license by the end of June found that the earliest appointment she could get was on July 5. She had no choice but to stand in the no-appointment line for nine hours.

When she finally reached the front of the line, she was told that she would have to return the next day, because it was too late to administer the written test she needed to complete. She told the Mercury News, “My signature was wobbly because I hadn’t eaten all day.” She estimated that it probably would take her only 30 minutes to renew her license.

For now, it seems like the best course of action is to still try to make an appointment and to ensure you have all the proper forms and documents you need.

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