Gov. Newsom Announces new DMV Leadership, Website

Ameera Butt
July 23, 2019 - 12:28 pm

Are long lines and troubles with REAL ID about to be a thing of the past at the Department of Motor Vehicles?

Governor Gavin Newsom announced new DMV leadership Tuesday morning.

The governor appointed San Jose entrepreneur Steve Gordon as DMV's new leader.

“We need to stabilize things,” says Newsom. “We are about to roll out a new website."

He says the DMV needs to advertise and needs to move more DMV customer business to Saturdays.

The new leadership comes amid the launch of the DMV Reinvention Strike Team by Newsom. It's a group he tasked with figuring out what needs fixing  and how to do it.

" (The) easiest thing is to write a report, call a news conference and say 'here is what we are going to do.' I've been saying for a long time, go to Silicon Valley, bring in the geniuses, the best minds in California and turn this huge mistake of a DMV into a huge, success story," Assembly Member Jim Patterson, who is a critic of the DMV, said.

The DMV current acting director has said the agency is terribly hobbled by outdated technology.

All DMV offices closed Wednesday morning for training.  They'll open again at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

In May, letters were sent to more than 3 million Californians who received a Real ID card prematurely this week.

The DMV said it was  fixing a mistake by sending out millions of letters with a return envelop so customers can send back the notice that counts as a secondary proof of residency.

In March, a state audit found the DMV did not prepare for long lines of customers who were looking to get Real ID's last year. 

Poor planning led to hours-long waits for people at the DMV.