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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!!!

Information about Driver License Renewals

As of October 1, 2010, the DMV began issuing a new enhanced driver license (DL) and identification card (ID) with additional security features. These new features include: vertical layout for persons under 21; the cardholder’s date of birth and signatures that can be felt by touch; images that can be seen only with the use of ultraviolet lights; a 2D bar code on the back of the card that replicates and verifies information on the front of the card; and a laser perforation outline of the California Brown Bear, which can be seen from the front of the card when a flashlight is pressed against the back of the card.

Because of the extensive nature of these new security improvements, issuance of new or renewed driver licenses are taking approximately four to six weeks at this time to receive the new card. In order to prevent any counterfeit measures, we at DMV want to ensure all new DL/ID cards meet DMV security feature requirements. Fortunately, law enforcement has access to driver license records and is aware of the issuance backlog. In addition, they will honor the updated expiration date found on DMV records if a payment for renewal was received. Some entities, such as banks or airports, do not have access to these records and this can cause some inconvenience to our customers. In order to mitigate these issues, DMV can provide a temporary driver license which will be valid for 60 days from date of issuance. This should be enough time for your new DL/ID card to arrive in the mail.

If your current Driver License and/or Identification Card is expired or is about to expire, you may request a temporary license to be mailed to you by calling 1-800-777-0133 or visit a local DMV field office to receive a temporary license in person. If you have any questions, please tweet us at @CA_DMV or for additional information about the new driver license, check out the new driver license brochure.

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

Welcome to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Blog


Bernard Soriano Chief Information Officer

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is excited to announce that we will be embarking on a six month pilot project that broadens our use of social media as channel for customer communication.  Our use of social media tools will expand the way the DMV conducts business by providing new and delivering innovative ways of customer service.  Currently, we have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube where customers can interact with the DMV.  They can post and tweet related inquiries, find information, obtain news and receive announcements.

You may ask, why the use of social media?  It’s simple. Our goal has always been to continually improve customer service.  Social media networks provide a medium where millions of DMV customer’s communicate on a daily basis and provide many benefits such as: new ways for customers to communicate with DMV, easier and faster methods to deliver messages to the public, and the ability to respond to customer feedback, comments and questions with a quicker response time.

During the course of this pilot project we will be collecting data to help evaluate whether social media offers any value to the customer and the department.  This blog will be the vehicle to share the data we collect and any anecdotal information and observations.  Therefore, please feel free to comment and make suggestions; we are eager to hear them.

We, at the DMV, look forward to this next step into social media.  The Department will first use Twitter as our main tool to communicate with the public through social media and, in the coming months, increase interaction with our customers through Facebook.   The possibilities of social media are endless and we will continue to look for creative ways to serve the public as we progress.

To follow the DMV on Twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/CA_DMV.  To become a fan of the DMV on Facebook, please visit our Facebook Homepage.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit www.dmv.ca.gov.