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California DMV Wait Times On The Rise As Immigrants Apply For Driver's Licenses

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — If you've got business to do at a California Department of Motor Vehicles office, it may take awhile to get it done—up to three months in some places.

The DMV blames the long waits on a rush of undocumented workers applying for driver's licenses after a new California law took effect on Jan. 1

Modesto has the shortest wait—when CBS13 checked on Friday, an appointment was available the following Monday. But if you're in Woodland, the earliest appointment was on March 3.

Rocio Belle waited two months for her appointment, but she's waited a lifetime for the chance at a California driver's license.

"I waited a long time. I've been here 14 years. And I drove scared, you know?" she said.

The peace of mind from the new license is not only an important step toward a better life for Belle and her husband.

"I'm really happy for me and my family. My husband - because he has to drive like far away," she said. "Always, San Francisco, Los Angeles. He's driving like that."

Between Jan. 17 and 23, more than 74,000 AB60 applicants have visited DMV offices across the state, and 14,000 have been issues a license.

In Sacramento, walk-ins like Mary Huizar are trying to ride out more than an hour-long wait with a smile.

As for the average wait time, a spokesman says with an appointment it's 10 minutes, and without one, it will be between an hour and an hour-and-a-half.

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