MANTECA, Calif. — Entering the Manteca DMV, Pastor Jim Applegate didn't need a prayer to get his REAL ID. What he did need was at least four documents to prove his identity.

"I have a utility bill from my house," Applegate told a DMV worker at the counter, giving her several documents.

Applegate is from Modesto. But, the earliest appointment in the city was at the end of March. So, he signed up online for an appointment in Manteca and waited a week.

Now, the DMV is attempting to get residents into their offices faster with its DMV Express, allowing residents the ability to sign up for a REAL ID online.

The big draw with DMV Express is no appointment is needed. Instead, you sign up online, upload your documents and bring them into your local DMV office that same day.

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Will it work? DMV Director Steve Gordon is optimistic, especially after his office was blasted last year for long lines and wait times.

"Last summer, we saw lines lines in excess of 60, 90, 120 minutes and in some cases four hours," Gordon said. "Right now, we're below 30 minutes for a non-appointment today, and we're below 15 minutes for appointments. So, they never have really been this short."

Modesto Bail Bondsman Mark Garcia can attest to that. He also got his REAL ID in Manteca.

There was no need to skip his appointment on the day he spoke with ABC10 about DMV's wait times.

"It's been a total of maybe 20 minutes... I was super surprised," Garcia said.

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Right now, only 23 DMV offices offer the express option.

The following offices are taking part: Davis, El Monte, Fremont, Fullerton, Laguna Hills, Los Gatos, Manteca, Newhall, Pasadena, Pleasanton, Redwood City, Sacramento Broadway, San Clemente, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose Driver License Processing Center, San Mateo, San Pedro, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Temecula, Vacaville and Walnut Creek. 

The DMV anticipates the new service will be available statewide by June. 

According to Gordon, 7.6 million Californians have now signed-up for a REAL ID ahead of the October 1st, 2020 deadline.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Kurt Rivera.


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