The Department of Motor Vehicles’ new building opened Monday morning with a line wrapped around it by 11 a.m.
The new DMV at 1222 Pixley Parkway is twice the size of the old one on Pine Street, said Mike Marando, a California DMV spokesman.
Lodi resident Donna Crisp said she liked that the new DMV had more parking and was on a less busy road.
“It was long overdue. The old one was so small and always had a very long line. This is much nicer,” she said.
Even though Lodi resident Andra Thomson said she likes the new building, she misses going shopping while waiting.
“You can’t get your number and leave this place because you are far out,” she said.
Justus Spano stood in line with his 2-year-old daughter, Autumn, and his 3-year-old son, Ethan. He said the old Pine Street building was there forever, and it was dangerous driving in and out of the parking lot because there were so many cars.
He suggested that the new DMV install seats outside for people waiting.
Stockton resident Maria Pineda said she came to the Lodi DMV because it is faster.
About 60 to 70 percent of Lodi’s customers come from Stockton, Marando said.
There was at least one disgruntled customer. Lodi resident Bill Cawelti and his family drove by the new location and were surprised by the line.
“They haven’t accomplished much but a parking lot,” he said.
He then wondered if the old location was also open, but when he drove to Pine Street, he found the building empty.
When asked if he would head home, Cawelti said he planned to “go to the back of this lot and cry a little bit.”
Here’s some more information on the DMV opening.
First day problems: The electronic “queue” system that gives numbers to customers and directs them to the right location was not working, Marando said. The clock that estimates the time customers would have to wait in line also was broken.
Instead, managers had to manually issue numbers and direct customers to the correct counter.
Both should be fixed on Tuesday, Marando said.
Capacity and rent: The DMV will spend $33,352 a month to lease the new 7,866- square-foot building. It can serve 750 customers a day, Marando said.
In contrast, the location on Pine Street was built in 1965 and cost $4,162 a month. It was only 3,404 square feet, and served 500 people a day.
The building was one of the older DMVs in the state, Marando said.
Green technology: The developer is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification. The building uses skylights, a tankless water heater, waterless urinals, energy-efficient landscaping and recycled building materials, Marando said. • An enterprising business: Employees at Premier Insurance noticed during the closure of the Pine Street DMV that many people were wondering where the new DMV is located.
So the company, which is located at 647 E. Pine St., made fliers and distributed them to anyone who stopped and needed directions on Monday. They plan to continue passing out the fliers as long as people come to the former DMV location
“They’ll hopefully look to see it is courtesy of Premium Insurance and come to the business when they need insurance,” said Aaron Dunn, who was helping pass out fliers.
Go online to save time: Even though there is a new DMV, Marando said customers should still look into going online.
The No. 1 reason people go in person to the DMV is because they are registering a vehicle. He said they can do that online at www.dmv.ca.gov and receive the registration tags in 5 to 10 business days.