The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 8, 2011
California DMV launches new website

We'll just say it: Despite chronic complaints and stereotypes of California's Department of Motor Vehicles, we think DMV is easily one of the most innovative and user-friendly agencies in California's state government.

The latest proof is DMV's new website, which department spokesman Mike Marando says reflects a continued push for services designed to "help customers do business on their time, not on our time."

The revamped, launched late last month, has an uncluttered layout and a homepage video (above) highlighting the various social media and technological avenues the department is exploiting to meet its mission.

Of course, the more that the department can shift work like registration and license renewals to state residents linked to computers, the more it frees employees to handle tasks that need face time with the public. So maximizing the web and DMV's successful self-serve kiosk program is a win-win.

Sure, DMV has endured the occasional belly flop when diving into the high-tech pool. (Remember the new driver's license debacle?) It will always be a target for comedians like Dane Cook. It's part of the price you pay for being one of the most ubiquitous arms of government.

But as DMV's new website shows, the department keeps trying to get better. Kudos for that.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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