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California Trying To Make It Illegal To Sell DMV Appointments

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Some people are booking appointments at the DMV then selling them for profit. Now the state wants to make that illegal.

Assembly Bill 317 would make it illegal to sell, or offer to sell, an appointment with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The law would apply to people, firms, corporations, or associations. If it's passed, those caught selling or offering to sell appointments would be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine up to $2,500. The money would get deposited into the State Transportation Fund.

Many people have complained about the long wait times at the DMV, even for those who have appointments. In the summer of 2018, the average wait time for those without appointments was two hours and ten minutes; it increased to three hours and 21 minutes at the 20 busiest DMV offices. By January 2019, after the DMV added staff and streamlined some steps, the wait times dropped to 57 minutes and 95 minutes, respectively.

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People can make appointments at the DMV up to 90 days in advance; however, those appointments are often quickly filled, forcing people to go in-person and wait.

The bill analysis cites a company called Yogov, which offers a service to help people get an appointment. Customers pay $25 and, as the website claims, employees at Yogov are "constantly hitting refresh on DMV's website to look for dropped appointments in order to get the customer an earlier appointment." The analysis goes on to explain, "However, in an interview with the blog Hacker Noon, Yogov founder, Ryder Pearce, stated that he had hired a team in the Philippines "to help with bookings and customer support. This allowed me to not only get some sleep, but helped us fulfill DMV appointment bookings that we hadn't yet automated."

The Department of Parks and Recreation previously dealt with similar programs that used websites to reserve camping grounds. A law was passed that now prohibits that.

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