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Manteca DMV: Long lines now the norm
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Patient motorists snaked a line in front of the Manteca Department of Motor Vehicles building Thursday morning. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Word has obviously gotten around that there is little or no wait at the Manteca branch of the state Department of Motor Vehicles – not true, the line was unbelievable Thursday morning.

It was the first of the month and motorists were having to wait as long as an hour to just reach the front door with the line extending around the building that faces onto Davis Street.

“Now it’s like going to Stockton or Sacramento,” one man said who had taken time off from work to renew his tags that were out of date by a month.

“I used to come here because it was fast,” he said.  “But I haven’t been here for three years,” he added.  Six clerks were waiting on customers inside the facility in what appeared to be a quiet, serene atmosphere.

A woman at the back of the line around 10:30 said she had come to take care of a boat registration for her son.  She had waited in line already for some 45 minutes earlier, but she had to come back because she had neglected to include an important signature.

Another man noted that the state office is a “take it or leave it” situation if you want to take care of your necessary paper work.   He said he was dealing with an oversight technicality in his registration and had to come back and wait again – taking additional time off of work.

“Hopefully they told me everything I needed to know the first time around,” he said.

 Using her day off to go to the motor vehicles’ office, a Manteca woman said she needed a certificate for smog clearance.  She noted she had been there three times during the month.  With tongue in cheek a woman behind her chimed that she had a long list of chores yet to address in her day.

A man expecting to take a driving test – without an appointment – finally made his way through the front door with a folded up pamphlet of state vehicle laws in his hands.

A Tracy driver made an interesting point later in the morning, saying Tracy has a beautiful new DMV office near the mall.  She said it is spacious and doesn’t draw the crowd evident at the Manteca branch Thursday morning.