Main funding source for DMV is running out of money; what it could mean for taxpayers

California

In Sacramento policy advisors say a main funding source for the DMV is running out of money.

More issues face the state’s embattled DMV as the legislative analyst office warns lawmakers, one of its main accounts is close to collapsing.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office report issued this week predicts the motor vehicle account will be insolvent by 2021, noting even the governor’s proposed budget boost for the department will barely help.

“This is a symptom that’s much deeper than just the DMV fund. The state of California regularly has swept out the special purpose funds that have gone into them, put them over to the general fund and then scramble to try to reassemble them and that’s what’s happened with the DMV,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson. 

The report cited this as a main cause for the issue and suggested the legislature consider putting an end to the transfers. Other solutions suggested raising fees for customers or making the DMV more efficient.

The agency’s efficiency is under intense scrutiny by both lawmakers and the governor’s office. Patterson announced Wednesday he’s formally requested a state audit with bipartisan support.

“The fact that this is starting to become a bipartisan complaint is going to get some action, finally and I think the possibility is we could turn the DMV from this 40 year dinosaur that messes up almost everything it touches into this amazon like secure system.”

Lawmakers scheduled a hearing in May to discuss the issue. 

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