After the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) closed all its field offices to customers effective March 27, 2020, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) knew that at some point DMV would reopen to serve customers because DMV was already considered essential work and DMV is often considered the main department that interfaces with the general public on a regular basis. Therefore, over the last five weeks, CSLEA continued to be in constant communication with DMV on its plans.
A couple weeks ago, DMV notified CSLEA that it was preparing a plan to phase in the opening of 25 field offices throughout the state. On April 23, April 29 and May 4, CSLEA met with DMV leadership via teleconference to discuss major issues relating to the reopening of field offices. Some of the issues included the following:
- Continue to suspend all drive tests in order to comply with social/physical distancing requirements.
- Comply with CDC recommendations and numerous county health officials’ instructions to require customers and employees to properly use face coverings while in public and business establishments.
- Ensure sufficient sanitization and cleaning regimens and protocols are established at the field offices.
- Ensure that DMV has purchased adequate PPE for its employees and that DMV has a plan to replenish the PPE on an ongoing basis.
- DMV should have a plan in place to communicate with customers prior to making an appointment and when they arrive at the field offices on safety precautions, such as; social/physical distancing, hygiene, and face coverings.
- Physical/Social distancing guidelines for DMV employees.
- Steps to protect employees while serving customers at the counter – physical barriers and distance markings.
- That DMV’s reopening complied with the governor’s reopening plans for the general public.
- That communication to LREs regarding the reopening and safety guidelines be provided directly to LREs in writing. CSLEA did not want to rely on the messaging being verbally passed down to the LREs.
As the State begins to reopen, there is a chance that COVID-19 will impact the state in different ways. Should things worsen, CSLEA will engage with DMV on pulling back operations. CSLEA will continue to work with DMV on ensuring that DMV operations are being done with respect to the health and safety of LREs. Many LREs are primarily concerned with drive tests. During this initial stage of reopening 25 field offices, drive tests will continue to be suspended. Obviously, DMV will plan and prepare for the eventual rescheduling of drive tests. Currently, this date is uncertain and most likely relies on how COVID-19 progresses over the next weeks/months. Whatever the case, CSLEA will continue to work on the behalf of its members so that the safety guidelines and protocols instituted by public health officials are being followed at DMV.
Please contact CSLEA if you feel that your DMV field office is not in compliance with its safety protocols and guidance. Thank you for your understanding during this uncertain time and please stay safe.