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The busy Escondido Department of Motor Vehicles field office permanently closed its doors at 725 North Escondido Boulevard on May 10.

DMV spokeswoman Jan Mendoza said Escondido residents can expect to be without a DMV for about nine more months. She said a citywide search is taking place for a space to lease that is comparable to the one that closed.

“We lost our lease on this particular property,” said Mendoza. The 12,500 square-foot DMV building in Escondido opened in 1989 and served an average of 627 customers each day, she said.

To accommodate for the closure, employees were assigned to Oceanside, Poway, and Temecula offices on May 10; they’ve opened an hour earlier each day since.

The Oceanside DMV on Plaza Drive is 14 miles from the Escondido office and served more than 18,000 customers in the one-month period since the Escondido closure, an increase of 7 percent of their average. The residents who were served at the Oceanside DMV during the monthlong period had an average wait time of 31 minutes.

The Poway field office on Community Road is 15 miles away from Escondido’s office. The report indicates that Poway has had a 1.5 percent increase of customers since May 10. The office in Poway served 13,244 customers and had an average wait time to see a clerk of about 32 minutes.

The Temecula DMV is a 30-mile distance from Escondido’s and shows the same marginal increase in customer traffic as Poway’s. The Temecula location served just less than 15,500 people, and their average wait time was almost 28 minutes.

“We can’t say it enough to people — make an appointment,” Mendoza said. “If you make an appointment, you can get in and out of here in 15 minutes.”  

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