Amid withering criticism from the Legislature and the driving public, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has spent the last couple months aggressively working to reduce lengthy wait times at field offices.
But lawmakers learned Thursday that the embattled agency could soon face more trouble: A dramatic increase in customers coming in for Real ID cards — identification required by Oct. 1, 2020, for people wishing to board planes without passports.
Thus far, the DMV has largely blamed Real ID for the uptick in wait times. Since the program’s implementation in January, it has issued 1.5 million Real ID cards. But the agency expects more than 15 times that many — an estimated 23.5 million — have yet to be issued, as millions of Californians have not come in for the new card.