California to audit DMV amid hourslong wait times, outages

FILE - In this May 11, 2018, file photo, Gov. Jerry Brown discusses his revised 2018-19 state budget at a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is ordering an audit the Department of Motor Vehicles in light of long wait times at field offices.

The state's department of finance will perform the audit. A Friday letter from Finance Director Keely Bosler tells DMV Director Jean Shiomoto the audit will assess information technology and customer service.

It comes a day after a computer outage crippled more than a third of DMV offices for several hours. The agency says a router issue prevented about 70 offices from processing driver's license, identification card, and vehicle registration matters.

The DMV has recently faced angry backlash from lawmakers and customers over long lines that have left people waiting hours.

Shiomoto says the DMV welcomes the audit as it works to reduce wait times.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson has been pushing for answers for months. "This is absolutely failure of leadership, a failure of priorities.'" Patterson said back in May. "They've actually taken the money and done nothing with it. We're gonna find out why and we're gonna hold some folks accountable."

After Governor Brown issued the order, Assemblyman Patterson released the following statement:

After yesterday’s outage, Governor Brown had no choice but to audit his department. This audit better be serious and thorough and result in the DMV complying with their own vehicle code which says people won’t wait in any line for longer than 30 minutes.
I’m going to continue to be a watchdog of the DMV because the people of California deserve better.

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