Last summer, I jumped on the bandwagon and joined those criticizing long lines at the DMV. As my driver’s license was set to expire earlier this month, I dreaded the possibility of spending the better part of a whole day waiting at the DMV for my turn to apply for a Real ID.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, about 1:45 p.m., I drove to Redwood City to do some errands downtown. On a lark, I drove by the Redwood City DMV office. There were no lines outside, and the parking lot was only half full. I parked and walked inside. It didn’t look too busy. So, I completed the online application and picked up a number to wait my turn. Twenty minutes later, I was at the counter. My documents were verified, my eyes checked and my thumb printed before I was directed to the photo station. It took one hour from the time I entered the DMV until I was walking out the door with a temporary DL in my hand. My Real CDL showed up in the mail a week later.

The DMV has worked to improve their system, and it appears their efforts are having a positive effect. However, before everyone starts riding unicorns through the forest spreading pixie dust, let’s remember that Real IDs will be required for domestic air travel beginning Oct. 1, 2020. If everyone needing a Real ID waits until late summer 2020, the long lines will return.

Ray Fowler

Redwood City

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