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Dozens of California DMV offices, including the one in Costa Mesa, are opening an hour earlier to battle wait times

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DMV offices throughout the state, including 17 in Southern California, will open earlier four days a week to help cut down wait times.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The Department of Motor Vehicles is offering early service at 69 offices in California, including the one in Costa Mesa, beginning Monday.

Offices throughout the state — including 17 in Southern California — will open at 7 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. An additional 53 offices are joining 16 others that have offered early service since last summer to cut down customer wait times. In addition to the early weekday start time, the DMV also offers Saturday service at 62 field offices throughout the state.

Offices now open early include Costa Mesa — at 650 W. 19th St. — Bakersfield, Compton, Glendale, Hollywood, Inglewood, Oceanside, Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. The full list can be found on the DMV website.

The increase in DMV wait times is largely because of the new Real ID requirement, in addition to the surge of new drivers seeking licenses, a common summer occurrence. More than 3 million Californians have obtained Real ID licenses, which go into effect Oct. 1, 2020, but hundreds of thousands of the licenses issued last fall did not meet the Department of Homeland Security’s standards. The backtrack proved chaotic for California’s process of issuing licenses.

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The DMV also recently announced that offices throughout California will be closed until 1 p.m. on July 24 as employees are trained on Real ID transactions and customer service.

Those in need of DMV assistance can also:

  • Contact the DMV call centers at (800) 777-0133.
  • Renew vehicle registration, change an address, request a copy of their driving record or make an appointment online at dmv.ca.gov.
  • Use DMV Now self-service kiosks found at grocery stores and some libraries.

Colleen Shalby writes for the Los Angeles Times. Daily Pilot staff contributed to this report.

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