Our PNC News team spent over two hours at DMV starting at 7 am.
Guam – The new requirements of the Real I.D. act have made for some real long lines at Department of Motor Vehicles division of Rev&Tax. PNC took a look at the lines first hand as Clynt Ridgell went there to renew his driver’s license.
We got to the Department of Revenue and Taxation at 7 am, a full hour before the doors were opened and we weren’t even the first ones in line.
“At DMV I’ve been here since 6:15 this morning,” said Jenelle Cruz, adding, “I’ve tried to come here earlier and I was at the way bottom and then I’ve tried coming after the work day just before they close and that was not great either. So, I’m here today. I took the day off.”
Carl Tainatongo says, “I’ve actually been here twice this week and the line is just all the way around the corner to the bathroom every time and I go to work and this is the only time in the morning that I’m off so that’s why I’m here today.”
I asked Dave Meno, “Why’d you come so early? Did you know the line was long did you try it before?”
“Yes,” replied Meno adding, “I’ve tried this before and I figured I was early but when I got here I was kind of late the line is still long. I’m in the middle area so I know I’m gonna have to wait about maybe two hours just for renewal.”
After talking with some of our new line friends, I waited outside until 8 am. When the doors finally opened the people poured in. Now it was time to get into another line and wait some more.
I had my passport, my social security card and a mayor’s verification. I forgot to fill out an application but luckily my friend Thomas who happened to be in front of me offered to grab us both applications. He even let me borrow his pen. Then there was more waiting.
So why wait so long for a simple renewal? Department of Revenue and Taxation Deputy Director Marie Benito says the Real I.D. Act is to blame. This new federal requirement also means new procedures and a new process.
“It’s the process itself we have to scan every document vet every applicant to ensure that they are who they say they are because you know with all the uncertainty out there it’s even more dependent on the department it’s our responsibility to make sure that that person is who they claim to be so in order to do that we need all these documents to justify who you are,” said Benito.
Another problem is that the information you fill out in your application has to be manually inputted into a new system even though the old system already has all of your information.
PNC: “There’s no way to make that old system transfer the data to the new system?”
“Yes, we did work on that also and I believe they are still ironing that because that was our first question was can we just integrate the old data and the new,” said Benito.
Benito says a local vendor called DMR is handling the old data system and an off-island vendor called Valid USA is handling the new system.
“We have our vendors coming in mid-month or possibly at the end of the July so what’s going to happen is eventually by October tenth we plan to have an integrated system with social security SSA and the state to state licensing DMV in the states so that once we enter your social security number it will be instantly validated that and also if you have an out of state driver’s license that will also be validated,” said Benito.
The good news is that once you are validated and all of your information is in the new system, your next renewal should be faster.
There are ways to speed the process up. You can apply online so that once you get seen your information is already inputted.
Benito says she is extremely appreciative of all the people who wait patiently. I must say the staff on the front lines at DMV are patient as well. Everyone was working hard and as quickly as possible. They were very professional and very helpful all while dealing with a lot of people who are tired hungry grumpy and angry.
Ultimately after lining up at 7 am (before the doors were open) it took me two and a half hours to get my license renewed.