Last month, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 317 (AB 317), which will make it illegal to sell, or offer for sale, an appointment with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The bill aims to crack down on companies that charge a fee to help someone book a DMV appointment, which is a service that the state offers for free. It turns out that people would essentially buy their way to the front of the line by purchasing an earlier appointment with the DMV. The bill’s author, Assemblyman Tyler Diep, stated the following regarding the bill,
The intention of the bill has always been to make sure that people who have a need to access state services should have the same right to get it without having to pay more. Our state government should not be a game for people who want to turn something that is an inconvenience into a profit.
Under AB 317 a company selling DMV appointments would violate the state’s vehicle code, which comes with a maximum fine of $250. Companies that sell appointments take up lots of available slots, so more Californians are unsuccessful in their efforts to find an immediate opening. Proponents of the law believe that if the sale of DMV appointments continues it could make the DMV wait time problem even worse. As the Oct. 1, 2020 REAL ID deadline fast approaches, DMV offices may see more customers waiting in line to apply for a REAL ID. It is unclear if the new law will actually thwart companies from continuing to sell DMV appointments, so we will have to wait and see if this continues.