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Readers React: We don’t need an expensive audit to tell us what’s wrong at the DMV

People wait to be helped at the South L.A. DMV office on Aug. 7.
People wait to be helped at the South L.A. DMV office on Aug. 7.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Californians angry about delays at the Department of Motor Vehicles need action now, not another time- and money-wasting study of the problem.

A seven-month audit would not reduce the wait time for someone who needs an ID by the start of the year. What it would do is drain staff time and resources away from fixing the unacceptable problems at the DMV. The funds to pay for the audit would come straight out of the DMV’s own budget at the very time it needs to be focusing its resources on fixing its problems.

At the end of this expensive audit, we would know exactly what we know today — that the DMV systems are seriously flawed and must be overhauled. The DMV has reassigned staff and expanded Saturday service and early hours. It is introducing text notifications and self check-in and expanding self-service terminals for vehicle registrations. If this does not reduce waits immediately, we will be demanding answers.

The Times editorial board’s speculation that we did not support a colleague’s DMV audit request because he is a Republican is way off-base. In fact, we each voted for a Republican-authored audit that same day. Audits are not a political toy. They are a tool to advise the Legislature about how to fix problems.

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We know what is needed at the DMV. It’s time for the agency’s leaders to get to work.

State Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica)

State Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose)

State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens)

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