Sponsored
Categories: News

Website Selling DMV Appointments for $19.99

Sponsored
Sponsored

A clever website is profiting from the outrageous lines and wait times plaguing California DMV offices. The Oakland-based site YoGov, which calls itself “Your government services concierge,” is charging $19.99 a pop to schedule you an expedited DMV appointment at a time when the available online appointment slots are months off in the future.

But the San Francisco Chronicle reports that DMV officials are looking into whether this scheme is illegal. California DMV deputy director of communications Armando Botello tells the Chronicle the department found that YoGov is “charging customers a fee and attempting to find an appointment using DMV’s online appointment system, which is free and available to everyone.”

YoGov’s site does “guarantee an appointment within 1-2 weeks or your money back,” though you have to enter your credit card information before you’re shown when that date may be. But SF Weekly just tried to schedule a standard appointment on the official DMV website, and the first available slot was September 13 — a full nine weeks from now.

It’s no secret that DMV wait times have dramatically increased in recent months, thanks to rigorous new Real ID license requirements. While you can also show up at a DMV office without an appointment, that typically entails a seven to eight-hour wait, with no guarantee you’ll even make it to the window that day. That’s leading more people to make online appointments, and those appointment slots are getting pushed out by months.

YoGov is ingeniously exploiting this by gaming the online system and snatching up earlier appointments as they become available.  “It’s a bunch of people sitting around hitting refresh. We do it manually,” YoGov founder and CEO Ryder Pearce tells the Chronicle. “You’re paying someone to search on your behalf.”

This digital hacking of public services recalls the 2014 debate over the MonkeyParking app, which allowed people to sell off parking spaces to the highest bidder. But while that app was clearly illegal and quickly driven out of town, DMV officials are not even sure whether YoGov is breaking the law by selling appointment slots.

YoGov’s Pearce says he’s trying to form a friendly relationship with the California DMV, and the company has done work with San Leandro to improve the city’s website interface. But on the question of whether it’s legal to sell DMV appointments that are otherwise free, we may be waiting awhile for an answer.

Sponsored
Joe Kukura

Recent Posts

Orville Peck & Dick Stusso at Swedish American Hall, August 19, 2019

Masked cowboy Orville Peck rocked the Swedish American Hall this past Monday, August 19th with a headlining performance celebrating his…

26 mins ago

Avett Brothers at Greek Theatre on August 17, 2019

The Avett Brothers high-stepped onto stage to a fantastic show at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley. The band is always…

51 mins ago

Young the Giant at the Greek Theatre on August 15, 2019

Young the Giant, Fitz and the Tantrums and Alice Merton played an amazing show at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley!…

1 hour ago

DAY TRADING PRINCIPLES FOR BEGINNER

In order to thrive in any trading market, one needs to create an effective trading strategy, one that guides your…

5 hours ago

Modesto Bigots’ Protest Garners S.F. Attention

Organizers of Modesto’s straight pride parade may not have permits for a grand celebration but they’re still planning to make…

7 hours ago

Keeping the Homeless Out of Sight Makes Their Lives More Dangerous

Nearly 10,000 people in San Francisco are homeless, with a nightly shelter bed waitlist that hasn’t dropped below 1,000 in…

1 day ago