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With No Audit, Lawmakers And DMV Look For Path Forward

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After two days of hearings, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will not face an audit.

DMV director Jean Shiomoto promises to accurately report wait times after lawmakers say they called her out at a budget hearing, Tuesday.

"That's the disconnect right there you're telling me it's an hour that's not the fact," said Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove).

Shiomoto plans to hire even more employees to help reduce DMV delays. But she's also asking lawmakers for an extra $40 million, in addition to the money she received last year to help roll out the new federally required Real IDs.

"It's not just about Real ID, it's about my constituents in line fainting," said Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramone).

So what are the issues?

"You're asking them to go to the technology to utilize it yet the technology is faulty it's failing and even when you use it you're not clear," said Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno).

The legislature approved $90 million to upgrade the department's outdated computer system. But the director says the 5-year project, isn't even halfway done.

Earlier this week, the DMV encountered problems with an upgrade of network routers. Despite a successful test by the California Department of Technology, the DMV reported problems on Monday.

Now, a retired DMV employee is speaking out accusing the director of being "asleep at the wheel."

"Jean Shiomoto: I would advise you to retire before the people revolt against DMV and you're fired," said Mariam Noujaim.

Noujaim spent two decades filing paperwork at the DMV. She says dreadful wait times go far beyond technology.

"They do buy the best technology the best scanners but it's how the implementation is done that needs to be resolved," she said.

She says the DMV needs high-tech workers. A DMV spokeswoman says there is a division dedicated to IT. How many experienced technicians work there? We didn't get an answer.

Lawmakers are waiting too.

"The buck has to stop somewhere. Someone has to be held accountable. This is not acceptable," said Cooper.

The director says the DMV recently added hundreds of new employees and maintains customers should see a difference by next month.

We requested an on-camera interview with the director but a spokeswoman says she wasn't available.

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