Anyone stuck in hours-long lines at a California Department of Motor Vehicles office has likely wondered at some point whether it’s possible to hire a stand-in.
Now at least some Californians can.
On Friday, YoGov unveiled a “DMV Line-Waiting Concierge” program allowing anyone with business at one of 13 Bay Area DMV offices to pay the site around $25 an hour to send someone to wait in line for a drop-in visit. It’s not clear how much the line-waiters earn.
Customers can pay for someone to wait in the pre-check line before being assigned a number, in the line to see a clerk after receiving a number, or both, according to YoGov. The concierge keeps the customer updated with texts and photos as he or she moves up in line.
If it’s the pre-check line, the concierge texts 30 minutes before reaching the check-in point so the customer can show up with his or her paperwork in order to be assigned a number. Then the customer can either stand in line to see a clerk or hand off to the concierge again.
“Our data are showing that the waits are around two to three hours pre-check in, on average,” Ryder Pearce, founder and CEO of Oakland-based YoGov, told SF Weekly. “Once you get your number, that wait can be another two, three, to four hours, especially these last few months.”
Wait times at California DMV offices have exploded in 2018, partly as a result of new federal ID requirements, reported The Sacramento Bee. Statewide, visitors wait an average of 69 minutes to see a clerk even after receiving a number. In Sacramento, they average 102 minutes.
Appointments at some offices also are booked for weeks in advance, forcing those with urgent business to brave the lengthy drop-in lines, according to the publication.
YoGov, short for Your Government Services Concierge, also offers a $19.99 service that scans for vacancies left by cancellations to schedule the earliest-possible appointment.
The DMV has confirmed that it’s investigating that service, reported KGO. Private companies normally are not allowed to charge a fee for government services, but YoGov compared it to having a personal assistant schedule your appointments.