HAYWARD -- The wait for the Jackson Street Department of Motor Vehicles office to reopen will be longer than anticipated.
The facility, which was closed in August for renovations, was scheduled to reopen last week. However, DMV officials said they no longer have sufficient staff to go forward with that plan and are awaiting word on when the funds will be available to hire more people.
"We do anticipate the situation changing, and right now we are reviewing the language in the budget to see (when we can hire)," DMV spokesman Michael Marando said. "But right now we don't have a timetable on it."
The office was closed Aug. 13 so that considerable infrastructure improvements could be made. Constructed in 1972, it was the building's first significant renovation project, part of an effort to bring DMV offices around the state up-to-date.
After employees were sent to work at other branches, there have been retirements and reshufflings, and there aren't enough employees available to reopen the Hayward branch, said Armando Botello, another DMV spokesman.
"Even if we pulled people back to Hayward, there wouldn't be enough at this point," he said.
A state hiring freeze made it impossible to restaff, and Marando said that freeze is still in place although they are "awaiting word on hiring exemptions."
Employees are being sent to the Fremont, Pleasanton and Oakland DMV branches.
Marando said each branch handles about 1,200 and 1,600 transactions a day, and none has seen a sizable increase since Hayward's closure.
He added that people should consider checking the DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov to see if it is possible to conduct their business online.
"We estimate that 25 to 30 percent of transactions can be completed on the website," Marando said.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 510-293-2473.