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A Fab-u-lous DMV Transaction at the Fab Fair

The California DMV’s summer fair kickoff begins at the San Diego County Fair! The fair started on June 7, 2014 and runs through July 6, 2014. The fair theme honors the Beatles’ and the British Invasion that revolutionized the music industry 50 years ago.

Stop by the Exhibit Hall to learn and experience DMV’s online services.   Need to pay your vehicle registration or renew you driver’s license/identification card? DMV’s knowledgeable and friendly employees will assist you with the online transactions and answer DMV related questions.

Don’t miss out on the fun, entertainment, and of course the deep fried foods.

Have Something to Say? DMV is Listening!


Have you visited a DMV field office recently and received excellent service? Or have you renewed your registration online using our website? How easy was it? The California Department of Motor Vehicles wants to know about your experience!

Because the DMV is committed to serving the public, we want to hear what you have to say. Whether you have a compliment, suggestion or complaint, the DMV greatly values your opinion.

Each month the department receives over 10,000 comments via our online survey, with the number of compliments outweighing the complaints. The responses we receive for the survey are used to evaluate our service in the field office, over the telephone and also on our website. Our hope is that through the survey, the customer experience as a whole will be improved.

If you would like to provide feedback for the DMV, we welcome you to share your thoughts. As a friendly reminder, please remember not to include any personal information – your security is important to us!

So please, Tell Us… How Are We Doing?


Big Fun with DMV this Summer!!!


Looking for something to do with the family this summer?  Stop by the California State Fair! There will be fun packed events for everyone in the family.  When it gets too hot; cool off at the DMV booth inside Building C.  Here DMV staff can answer driver license or vehicle registration related questions while your kids color a DMV Dan or Danielle.

Skip the lines and learn how to schedule an appointment or pay for your vehicle registration online. Learn about these and the many other DMV services available online.  Thinking about getting a driver’s license? Make your way over to the booth and receive the 2013 California Driver Handbook.  DMV staff are available to provide assistance. 

“Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and upload the memories of your kids and their colorful DMV Dan or Danielle onto our page showing us the adventures you had at the State Fair.

Learn about California’s diverse industries and agriculture, enjoy your favorite fair food and take advantage of a great opportunity to speak to one of our amazing DMV staff members.

See you at the Fair!!!

Doing Business with the DMV When Systems Are Down

DMV is committed to customer satisfaction. However, when our systems are down either for maintenance or technical difficulties, there are a few tips to fast-track your communication with us:

  • In the event your registration is due on a weekend or State holiday, and if a system failure occurs, no penalties are assessed if the renewal is postmarked by the next work date.
  • Our Telephone Service Center can assist with general DMV information at 1-800-777-0133.
  •  DMV’s Interactive Voice Response System at 1-800-777-0133 is also available for registration renewals.
  • Vehicle registration transactions can be completed by using DMV’s Self Service Terminals at select field offices and retail locations.
  • If our system is down for 24 hours or more, to avoid paying penalties on your vehicle registration you can prepare a Statement of Facts (REG 256) form or letter explaining why you were late and request that the penalty be waived. Mail the registration renewal notice, payment, and REG 256 or letter in the envelope provided.

Five ways to save time at the DMV

California is the most populated state in the nation with 37 million residents[1].  Approximately, 29.8 million[2] possess a driver license or identification card.  Furthermore, there are 31.8 million registered vehicles.  All of the associated transactions for the driver license, identification card and vehicle registration are processed in a field office (168), on the Internet, on the telephone, or through the mail.  Those are some very large numbers!  As you can guess or already experienced, it can be a little difficult getting service.  We understand that it’s critical for the customer to be able to conclude their business quickly and efficiently.  As a result, we at DMV strive to provide new and innovative ways to expedite customer inquiries and we would like to share five ways to save time at the DMV that the public may not know.

DMV Now iPhone Application – DMV Now is the department’s latest iPhone application that allows iPhone users the ability to find a local DMV office and provides turn by turn directions based on the GPS location of the iPhone, along with the office’s average wait time.  Checking wait times can save time by allowing the user to visit the field office with the shortest wait time.  In addition, iPhone users can take sample written driving tests, access a large library of DMV driver education videos and access other important DMV alerts.  Most importantly, the application is free to download


Telephone Interactive Voice Response System (IVR) – The  IVR allows the DMV telephone system to detect voice and touch tone telephone keypad inputs.  Although live technicians cannot accept payment over the telephone, DMV customers can use the IVR to make debit and credit card payments for transactions such as renewing a driver license and vehicle registration.  Instead of making payments by visiting a local field office, customers can complete transactions over the telephone by using the IVR system by calling 1-800-777-0133.

Online Appointments – The Online Appointment system provides an additional method for scheduling an appointment before you go to a DMV office for an in-person visit.  Save time by scheduling an appointment to avoid waiting in line.  Appointments are available at all DMV offices and may be scheduled up to 45 calendar days in advance for driver license, identification card, vehicle registration services, or behind the wheel examinations.  Appointments can be scheduled online or if you don’t have access to the internet, you can schedule an appointment through the IVR system (1-800-777-0133).

@CA_DMV on Twitter- California DMV has entered the social media realm by joining Twitter.  The social media team at DMV consistently monitors Twitter feeds to engage customers who are having issues regarding DMV related matters.  @CA_DMV tweets news, announcements, field office closures, FAQ’s, and responds to customer inquiries.  Customers can avoid waiting on hold and save time by tweeting @CA_DMV to receive timely responses to customer questions and concerns.  To obtain up to date information or ask questions, follow us at @CA_DMV.


DMV Checklists – Almost every DMV transaction requires a specific form or documentation in order to process.  Customers can save time and avoid a return visit to a DMV office by making sure all these items are prepared prior to a field office visit.  Checklists can be viewed online for Driver License transactions or  Vehicle Registration transactions.

DMV continues to develop and utilize new technologies to better service today’s consumer.  Utilizing one or all of these services can save time and make completing your DMV transaction easier and faster.  For more information about these tools and other services, please visit us at www.dmv.ca.gov.

[1] National and State Population Estimates http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html

[2] State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, Statistics for Publication, January through December 2009, http://www.dmv.ca.gov/about/profile/official.pdf

Social Media Project Midpoint: Statistics and Lessons Learned

As we reach the midway point of our pilot program, the social media team has learned a great deal from our experiences in the social media realm.   Three months into our six month program, our account shows a substantial increase in customer interaction within the Twitter community, as more users are realizing that they can use the CA_DMV account as another channel for DMV customer service.  During the first month of the project, CA_DMV received an average of 11 direct mentions per week, mostly pertaining to complaints and comments on recent DMV experiences.  During the second month, we received an average of 23 direct mentions per week where customers began to respond to our tweets with specific inquiries related to their own personal DMV issues.  We have been able to assist customers with driver license and registration transactions by providing status updates and direct links to website resources.  This interaction between customer and DMV spread through the Twitter community, as users began to retweet our responses, informing other followers that CA_DMV could be used as a means to obtain information without calling the toll free telephone number or visiting a DMV field office.  Consequently, in the third month of the project, CA_DMV received 28 direct mentions per week and we anticipate that number will increase as our following grows. 

We are learning that increased engagement with twitter users also causes our following to grow, as users are finding increased value from the tweets we send and the responses we provide.  For example, the tweets below show how following DMV has provided additional benefit to customers:

Because of these and many other tweets, our Twitter following is gradually growing.  Currently we have 1,907 total Twitter followers which is an 18% increase since the start of the project. 

We also realize that it is important to reply to general mentions, which led to an increased following.  Most of these mentions occur between 8 A.M. and 12 P.M. and pertain to their DMV experience after a field office visit or DMV phone call.  Their concerns mainly deal with driver license and registration questions.  We constantly monitor DMV mentions in several search inquiries to ensure that we are able to “listen” for questions or comments and provide guidance to those who are mistaken or uninformed.  One prime example is the tweet below which led to the user to become a follower shortly after resolving their issue:

We at DMV hope this snowball effect of growth and interaction will continue to occur as we try to provide more informative and beneficial content to our Twitter community.  We will continue to do our best to provide assistance through our social media channels and, at the same time, continue to learn from our experiences to improve the way we use social media.  We believe that with any endeavor, changes can occur, thus we want to not only learn from our mistakes, but also adapt and evolve for the modern customer.  We at DMV are always open to comments and suggestions; hence, if there is anything you would like to add to this blog or any of our social media accounts, please send us a message or comment on our blog.

@CA_DMV Engages Public on Twitter

Socializing, engaging, and providing customer service to online communities have always been foreign territory for most government agencies.  Nonetheless, DMV continues to innovate and modernize the way today’s consumers are serviced.  Part of that innovation process includes utilizing social media tools and venturing in new ground breaking territories of technology.  By doing so, DMV has begun engaging with the public on Twitter.

DMV began its Twitter pilot program in July 2010.  At the introduction of the program, DMV had a total of 1,634 followers on Twitter prior to officially engaging with the public.  Since then, the number of followers has increased to 1,742.  Within the first month, DMV “tweeted” an average of 38 messages per week and for every tweet sent including retweets, the message was received by an average of 1,951Twitter users.  Since the start of the start of the pilot program, DMV has directly responded to 43 tweets.  Generally, the department responds to tweets associated with the length of time to process a driver license, identification card, interpretation of law, or registration renewal.  The first month of this pilot has not been without its challenges.  Nonetheless, the department has a better understanding of how to read and craft tweets from this experiences and the overall response from the community has been very positive.

The Department encourages Twitter users to follow the DMV’s Twitter account for announcements, up-to-date news, information, and answers to the DMV related questions.  DMV is available for response between the hours of 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. PST., Monday through Friday (excluding furloughs).  DMV strives to respond to all department related inquiries as soon as