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Wait time is up at DMV [Updated]

November 2, 2009 |  1:35 pm

The average wait time for walk-in customers at Department of Motor Vehicles offices has increased from 27 minutes to 45 minutes since the governor ordered state workers to take three furlough days each month, according to a legislative review.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said the longer lag time is unnecessary. Furloughs imposed starting in February do not save the general fund money, because the DMV is financed almost entirely with fees charged to motorists and with federal money, Steinberg said.

The report was released today by the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes.

“One of the governor’s biggest achievements that has made life a little easier for Californians was reducing long lines at the DMV and improving their services,” Steinberg said. “Now, without saving any money from the state’s budget, he has single-handedly wiped out those effective improvements.”

[Updated 2:58 p.m.: A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger defended the furloughs against Steinberg’s criticism.

"It’s no secret that the Legislature does not share the governor’s commitment to reducing government spending," said spokesman Aaron McLear. "But just like every family and business in California, we must cut back."]

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

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