Driver's license delays trouble new driver

February 11, 2011 7:29:55 PM PST
There is a growing wave of discontent with the California DMV. People around the state are complaining about huge delays in getting their licenses renewed. One young woman in Benicia has been waiting months to get her very first one.

Behind the wheel there, that's Rachel Brown.

For a young driver, Rachel Brown is doing great. She knows the rules of the road, she has a car, now all she needs is a driver's license.

"I'm 16; I've been 16 for seven months now and I still don't have my license," she said.

After her initial trip to the DMV, she was called back, it needed to take the picture again. She was told to wait four to six weeks, but when it did not arrive, she called the DMV, which said it needed another picture.

Another month went by and still no license.

"The last time I called and they checked the status they said, 'On your December 14 trip to the DMV your picture is processing,'" Rachel's dad Scott Brown said. "I said, 'What does that mean, because we need a license,' and they said, 'You will have to call Sacramento.'"

So they did. And then they called 7 On Your Side.

"If she had to come in 3 times and have her picture taken that is very, very rare; I don't know why that happened," DMV spokesperson Jan Mendoza said.

Three pictures is odd, but a long wait and an expiring temporary license is not. The problem is the new, high tech driver's licenses. Delays began last year, and in recent days. complaints to 7 On Your Side have increased.

Still, the DMV insists things are actually going better now.

"The vender that makes the drivers license, L-1 Identity Solutions, was having start up problems issues because of the complexity of the driver's licenses," Mendoza said. "So we have had a little bit of a delay a little bit of a backlog they're starting to get things more rectified and the problems are becoming less and less."

Which leaves Rachel and her dad about where they were when she took her test back in September.

"Now they say they will send it in four to six weeks again and I just had to renew my paper license, my temporary," Rachel said.

"We have received that in the mail, with an expiration of May 6, so we are crossing our fingers, but not holding our breath, that a new license will come in the mail," her dad said.

The DMV is now working hard on Rachel's case. The family says three different DMV officials contacted them the day the story aired.

If your temporary license is about to expire, you need to call the DMV. It will not send a new one unless you ask.

And finally, how bad is the problem? There has been a massive improvement in quality control and still one out of every 10 licenses has to be remade.


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