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Batjer: It's Too Soon to Discuss Plan for DMV Overhaul

Gov. Gavin Newsom has pressed for several new approaches in his first week in office, including a Department of Motor Vehicles Strike Team. GovOps Secretary Marybel Batjer, who leads the team, says it's too soon to talk about her plans.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has pressed for several new approaches in his first week in office, including a Department of Motor Vehicles Strike Team. The team, led by Government Operations Secretary Marybel Batjer, would overhaul the department.

In a response to inquiries from Techwire, Batjer declined to be interviewed about the team's six-month timeline.

“The DMV touches nearly every Californian," said a statement from Batjer. "It is critical that the DMV not only meets but surpasses the needs and expectations of the people of this state. I’m honored to have been asked by Governor Newsom to lead this essential review.

"It is too early to discuss any specifics of the Strike Team or what conclusions it might reach.”

The DMV is responsible for the Motor Voter program, which automatically registers drivers to vote, and the state's ability to issue federally recognized Real IDs, both of which have seen troubled implementations. The state has been granted a four-month extension on its ability to issue Real IDs.

The DMV's longtime director, Jean Shiomoto, retired in December.

Kayla Nick-Kearney was a staff writer for Techwire from March 2017 through January 2019.