Mayor apologizes for long lines at DMV and will hire 7 more people

Published: Jan. 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2013 at 11:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The DMV hasn't had the best reputation for efficiency.  Now wait times in Honolulu are even worse because the City is processing drivers licenses and state identification cards and the lines have been painfully long.

"I'm Kirk Caldwell the Mayor. I'm just here to apologize for the long line."

One after another Mayor Kirk Caldwell went down the line at the City Square Satellite Center in Kalihi saying he was sorry.

"We're going to try and fix it so it doesn't have to be that way in the future."

He was talking to the people standing in line for two to three hours.  People like Jay Whalen.

"Hopefully I'll feel good about it when I get done that's for sure," said Jay Whalen, as he stood in line.

In the end he was not happy at all.

"This bureaucracy BS," said Whalen, after getting to the clerk. "Yes I'm upset now. I'm totally upset."

He thought his resident golf ID would work as a second identification, but it didn't.

"When you get to the front of the line and you have two valid ID's and they do not give you what you need because their bureaucratic decision says it has to be on this list they're not using their common sense."

He took his case to the Mayor who was still there.

"I have a valid complaint," said Whalen.

"Uh oh," responded Mayor Caldwell.

He was told the golf identification card is not for residency or legal presence to show whether you're legally in the United States.  Whalen is one of the many who will have to come back and stand in line all over again.

"I've been here three times this week already," said Ryan Alconcel, as he was talking with Mayor Caldwell.

"You know this is unacceptable and we're here to talk about solutions to this problem," said Mayor Caldwell, to reporters.

The Mayor is hiring seven temporary employees for the five state ID locations to meet people as they get in line and be sure they have everything they need.

There is also a City hotline for people to call to verify what they need.  That number is 808-768-CITY (2489). It is only answered during normal city business hours. After hours you can leave a message.

People can also double check online before they get in line.  You can find more information about getting a State Identification Card by clicking here.

Verifying what documents are acceptable online paid off for some.

"I knew ahead of time. I went online and checked out what I needed," said Eric Tracy, Waikiki.

Still he and many others had to endure the wait.

"It was just a long long wait," said Martin Wong, Downtown, who stood in line three hours. "It was the longest wait in my life.

If you are only getting your drivers license the city suggests it might be worth it to go to the satellite city halls at Hawaii Kai, Fort Street Mall or Pearlridge because those offices do not do state ID's and the wait is shorter.

"We need a gatekeeper telling us that at the front door. That would have saved me two hours because I work at a medical center and I need to be with the patients," said Susan Anderson, Aiea.

"I ask for some patience. We're going to see if this works," said Mayor Caldwell.

The state allowed people to make appointments online to get a state identification card which considerably cut down on the wait time. Mayor Caldwell says the city is looking into a reservation system but it would be awhile before it is set up.

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