New proposal to alleviate DMV lines while weekend hours pilot already on chopping block

There’s a new proposal to cut long lines at the DMV, but will it work?
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As officials continue to look for ways to streamline city services, a recent pilot program to reduce wait times could already be on the chopping block.

Honolulu City Councilmember Trevor Ozawa said he’s been a long-time advocate for modernizing city services.

He wants to see self-serve electronic kiosks in satellite city hall locations.

Ozawa says motor vehicle registrations are the primary transactions processed at satellite city hall offices, so he wants to make that experience easier by turning it into an automated process.

Ozawa wasn’t available for an interview, but issued a statement saying, “It is my hope that providing kiosks in our satellite city halls to automate car registration renewals will be key in reducing the public’s wait time for other services at the DMV and improve efficiencies within the department.”

The measure doesn’t outline hours for the electronic kiosks, but if it passes the question remains – will residents use the new service?

That was the hope for a pilot program at the Kapalama DMV office, the island’s busiest location.

The city extended hours for licenses and state IDs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays for the rest of the year to accommodate a surge in renewals

We’re told the average transaction time for these services is about 45 minutes.

Despite the extended hours, people just aren’t taking advantage of the service.

The city tells KHON2 it expected to serve 250+ residents, but turnout has been much lower.

The first day of the pilot program only served 88 people, and only 59 people came in last week.

We’re told staff has even been sent home early.

The city said in a statement, “Regardless of the complaints of long lines, there does not seem to be a demand for off-hour options at Kapalama Hale. We will reassess the situation at the end of the year, but as of right now, we will likely discontinue this Saturday service.”

Ozawa’s proposal to renew vehicle registrations through electronic kiosks is scheduled for a second reading and a public hearing is next.

We’ll let you know what happens.

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