By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
The Department of Motor Vehicles has been in the news a lot recently. Problems have included long wait times, computer crashes, and voter registration errors. The DMV is just one of many State agencies in need of modernization. This session I introduced legislation that would require all State agencies, the DMV and the Legislature included, to adopt innovative new technologies aimed at increasing efficiency, enhancing cybersecurity and providing better public service and transparency.
Steps are under way to fix the problems at DMV. These include adding additional employees, opening some offices on Saturdays and placing self-service kiosks in grocery stores where vehicle license plate renewals, along with the stickers, can be processed instantly. Local locations include Albertsons stores at 1509 E. Valley Pkwy., Escondido, 1601 S. Melrose Dr., Vista, and at the Ralphs store located at 23801 Washington Ave., in Murrieta.
DMV employees don’t like this situation much either. Like the general public, they are victims of decades-old computer technology and antiquated procedures that clash with modern demands including federally mandated “Real ID” along with a new Motor Voter law that allows drivers to register to vote at the DMV.
In August, a proposal to audit the DMV about these and other issues failed by just one vote in the Joint Legislative Audit Committee after pressure from Governor Brown. However, after reports of 23,000 erroneous voter registrations surfaced, Governor Brown ordered an audit by the Department of Finance. The audit is expected to be completed in March. In the meantime, about 1,500 unauthorized voters have been purged from the voter rolls.
We pride ourselves on being innovative and forward thinking, but when it comes to serving the public, California is seriously lagging. We need to join the 21st Century.
Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.