February 25, 2010 By Russell Nichols
Mark Tyler, who works for the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), knows better than to wait in the long, congested lines spilling from the agency's field offices. He said he only makes appointments.
But Tyler is also responsible for thrusting the DMV into the world of mobile technology with a new application that can help iPhone owners steer clear of the longest lines.
"Nobody wants to stand in line at the DMV," said Jan Mendoza, public information officer for DMV, adding that she believes the new "DMV Now" iPhone app unveiled this month is the only one of its kind in the country. "We're trying to make it known that we have other options for folks. If you're out and about, you can now go through your iPhone."
The application allows iPhone owners to find the wait times for service at nearby field offices so they can make an informed decision on where to go. (In the past, the times were available only on the DMV Web site.) Not only that, but it also provides directions based on GPS, sample written driving tests and access to the agency's YouTube channel, which features a library of driver education videos. Since its release last week, the free app has been downloaded 5,000 times, Mendoza said.
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