Having lost my wallet three times in six months, I need to streamline the process for replacing a Driver License and dealing with the California DMV as much as possible.
As far as I can figure out, I have to go to the DMV office in person to apply. (The DL-44
form has to be submitted in person.) When I go to the DMV without
an appointment, the line is forty people long and takes hours. When I go with
an appointment, it generally takes an hour, but it takes about three weeks to get an appointment, even though I check four possible DMV offices.
This delay is usually quite worrisome. For work, I often travel and sometimes have to rent a car. Rental car companies won't let you do this without something current from the DMV. In Lost Wallet Saga #2, I lost it on Tuesday and had a trip the following Monday. My longest unscheduled window on Wednesday and Thursday was two hours long. I went to the DMV as quickly as possible during that break, but I still had to leave before they called my number. (Of course, I was also free all day Friday, when DMV was closed due to budget cuts.) I traveled without a license and ended up paying for some long taxi rides in the other city.
So, Mefites, any tips? Ideally, I'd like to go online, click "I lost my Driver License," and have a new one sent. That seems impossible. Barring that, I'd like to keep about three valid licenses with my spare keys at home. Barring that, I'd like to find some super-quick DMV or a way to get last minute appointments. I've tried Claremont, El Cerrito, the Oakland Coliseum, and Davis. Claremont's waits are the worst, but the others were roughly the same. I live in Oakland and either work in Sacramento or from home, so I could go to a number of DMVs.
Since once every three years, the DMV somehow becomes an enormous headache to me, if you want to share non-DL tips for dealing with the DMV, go ahead. I'm sure I'll use them in the future. I'd practically pay cash* for the direct phone line to some efficient insider. *Once my new ATM card arrives, that is.
Also, given how cumbersome this is, if you know of any (savvy and moderate) efforts to Reform the DMV, let me know! I might become a