City says shorter wait at Oahu DMVs

City says shorter wait at Oahu DMVs

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - J.R. Guillen's anxiousness evaporated when he saw the line moving at the Division of Motor Vehicles in Kalihi.

"They have a lady right here giving information out. It looks like they're moving pretty good," he said.

Last month, Mayor Kirk Caldwell vowed to shorten long waits for people wanting a state ID or drivers license. On Monday at mid-day, the busiest time, folks were in and out in about an hour.

Before she walked in the door, Maile Ofa feared she'd have to wait three or four hours.

"I felt much better. I was glad I didn't wake up like seven in the morning," she said.

The mayor wants to make it even faster, by installing cameras at Oahu's five DMVs. He wants them to be running by the end of March.

"So in real time you can go on line, look at it, and say, 'Hey, the line's low now. Lets run down there at this point,'" he said.

The city hired a handful of temporary workers as document checkers.

"We're trying to get people at the front end of the line to triage the line, help them with their documents, ensure they have everything they need," Department of Customer Services director Sheri Kajiwara said.

That alone saved Herbert Ushiroda a wasted wait.

"I had to get some more documents. So I've got to come back again," he said.

The city said complaints have dropped drastically, from hundreds a day to about 25 a day.  Caldwell credits clearing up confusion.

"A lot of people think they need a state ID in order to travel out of state, which is incorrect. Their driver's license works," he said.

Kajiwara said lines can still be long from time to time, but they'll move quicker than then did a month ago.

"I know. I saw that," Guillen said.

The mayor's goal is a thirty-minute wait.  As far as that goes, we'll have to wait and see.

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