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6 months after the Camp Fire: DMV monthly customers double

New statistics from the Chico Department of Motor Vehicles said it is serving twice as many people each month since the Camp Fire.

Posted: May. 14, 2019 3:49 PM

CHICO, Calif. - New statistics from the Chico Department of Motor Vehicles said it is serving twice as many people each month since the Camp Fire.

The Paradise DMV is now closed, which has caused an influx of customers at the Chico location. 

Robin Prayer is an office manager at the department and has helped many Camp Fire survivors. She originally worked at the Paradise DMV. When that closed, she worked at the Disaster Recovery Center in the Sears building before moving to the DMV. 

"Since February, it's been intense," she said. "We've had a larger customer base because the paradise office is closed."

Overtime is now the new normal for the employees at the DMV. 

With the introduction of new requirements for a real I.D., there's more paperwork to be processed and more levels of approval for customers to go through. 

"We do have to look in our database to help them," she said. "To determine if this is a car that still functions or something your insurance company wants you to dispose of."

The average wait time without an appointment is 50 minutes, according to the DMV. That's around the same wait time as before the fire. 

The agency also said that wait times, in general, can be impacted by the time of day and the day of the week that customers come in. However, the workers are doing their best to get everyone processed as quickly as possible. 

"I love seeing the paradise customers," she said. "We have long hugs or talks, and I ask how they are doing, and how they are moving forward."

To see the current wait times for the DMV, CLICK HERE.  

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