What's Bugging You?

What's bugging you? Endless DMV lines

Monday, April 26, 2010

The DMV added new functions on its Web site to make your experience more efficient, but are their efforts paying off?

We've all experienced long lines at the DMV, and that's why the department encourages people to make an appointment on their Web site. That's exactly what Long Beach resident JoAnn Pannaman did.

"I thought I was doing it by the book, and I just got fined anyway," said Pannaman.

Pannaman made a reservation to register her car from out of state. The first available appointment was a month and a half later.

"I went to the DMV April 5 and she gave me a fine because it wasn't registered within 20 days. I explained to her I had the appointment and it was the first available appointment, and she said it didn't matter," Pannaman explained.

The DMV acknowledges getting an appointment may take a long time, but still the law says you have to do it within 20 days or pay a penalty.

"Unfortunately, we've been having that situation with the furloughs and the fiscal emergency that California has been under. We have been a little bit behind on our appointment system. If you are running up against a deadline, we are encouraging you in order to avoid penalties, to get into a field office," said DMV representative Jan Mendoza.

Pannaman says that's what she wanted to avoid because she knows the lines can take hours.

"If they can't accommodate you within 20 days, then why are they fining you? So, yes that bugged me," said Pannaman.

"We always encourage folks to make an appointment because then you're going to the DMV on your time, and you know that when you go to the DMV, you're not going to have to wait for very long," said Mendoza. "However, the catch 22 is that the appointment is kind of far out there."

The DMV says it does have some new features on its Web site which will allow you to come to an office on the same day and avoid long lines.

On the Web site, if you put in the office location you want to visit, you can see what the wait time and the wait time for three other offices nearby. Also, there is a new iPhone app that gives you the wait time at every office.

Ultimately, they say it is your responsibility to register an out of state vehicle within 20 days. Meanwhile Pannaman says she's filed a complaint form and applied for a refund of her fine, but she's not very hopeful.

"I'm sure they're going to say I'm sorry we can't do anything for you, but I figured I'd at least try," said Pannaman

Eyewitness News will follow this story and let you know what happens.

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