Jean Shiomoto Named Director of DMV

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Editor’s note: The Rafu Shimpo is not affiliated with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Comments left on this story do not reach DMV officials.

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday announced the appointment of Jean Shiomoto, 57, of Sacramento as director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, where was named acting director earlier this year.

Jean Shiomoto

Jean Shiomoto

She has served in multiple positions at the DMV since 1988, including chief deputy director, chief of operations, deputy director of the communication programs division, chief financial officer, advisor to the director and chief deputy director, controller, fiscal officer, cost accounting manager, and systems development manager.

Currently, Shiomoto oversees eight divisions and over 9,000 employees and provides oversight of significant statewide programs, including driver licensing, vehicle and boat registration, motor carrier licensing and regulation, driver safety, and occupational licensing and regulation.

As CFO, she was responsible for the budget development, revenue and expenditure tracking, workload forecasts, financial system development, and activity-based costing.

During her 32-plus years in state government, Shiomoto served as an accounting administrator at the California Franchise Tax Board in 1988 and in multiple positions at the California Department of General Services from 1980 to 1988, including fiscal systems manager, systems development analyst and auditor. She was an auditor at the California Department of Developmental Services in 1980.

A graduate of CSU Sacramento, she has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. She is a board member of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and board president of the Asian Community Center of Sacramento Valley, whose core programs are the ACC Nursing Home, ACC Park City Community Center, ACC Greenhaven Terrence Independent Living, and Meals on Wheels by ACC.

The DMV position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $150,000. Shiomoto is a Democrat.

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18 Comments

  1. Re. George E Gonzalez, Sr on

    Dear Ms. Shiomoto:

    I am writing to you today to explain a problem I have with the Department of Motor Vehicles. I am addressing it to you for the simple reason that I am unable to find the address or email of the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles whoever he or she may be, and if you are kind enough to email it to me, I would be very grateful. I also would like to see if you could, by all means, send me the name and address of the person who designed all the test questions for the DMV drivers license test. Many of the answers are double questions and make no sense to be answered. Some are contradictory and nonsensical, and frankly insult the intelligence of the person taking the test. For instance, I have been driving in California for way over one-half century and do not have any tickets or accidents and don’t have any problems with my vision, and my driving history according to the Department of Motor Vehicles speaks for itself, and after you people keep raising the process for a regular drivers license, which should not cost so much. Still, your department demands that I take a written test. In other words, my position remains that I can be teaching people how to drive in a very safe and correct manner, and the DMV still demands that I take a written test, so there must be something totally out of order. So whoever writes all these requirements must have his head somewhere in space or must be smoking something they should not be smoking, because it does not make any sense the way the system is set up, and nobody has the brains to inconvenience themselves to correct it the way it should be, because after all, all you people work and serve the general public, and that is what you should have in your minds all the time, who you work for.

  2. Rev George E Gonzalez, Sr on

    Continuation of my statement: As I was saying, I am not trying to be critical and I am not criticizing. There are a lot of things in the state of California that are totally corrupt. I do not want to name anyone in particular, but if you are smart enough and you have some educational reference, all you have to do is look around you and open your eyes. We live in a country where everybody does whatever they please and nobody can do anything about it because they are all backed up by the government and law enforcement. But people are getting fed up with it, and all we want is just to be served. That is what we pay for and legally that is what we are entitled to, but the DMV keeps on putting higher charges for everything they offer people, and you are supposed to be a service, not a business. so at your next meeting bring up and see what your counterparts answer.

    Yours truly with all due respect, your humble servant (nothing personal),

    Rev George E Gonzalez, Sr

  3. For the information you requested about the Address of the Director of the DMV, Jean Shiomoto:

    ATTN: Jean Shiomoto, a Natural Woman, Director, Agent
    In the California Republic
    Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
    2415 First Ave.
    Mail Station F101
    Sacramento, CA 95818-2606

    Californians should also know that the legal term “driving” or “traffic” implies commercial activity. The State, by the Constitutions, can regulate commerce.

    Traveling is a Natural Right, derived from the Creator. Traveling is not a privilege, it is a Right. Natural Rights, which are protected by the US Constitution, cannot be revoked by the State.

    The State of California is a for profit corporation. The DMV is a revenue collection center and a data collection center. It revenues for the government apparatus. It does not exist for the interests of We the People.

    All of these government Agencies exceed the scope of Constitutional limits. Ultimately, all these agencies and governmental overreach will impoverish the State and the Nation. It also transfers the Republic into a Communist State, antithetical to the principles on which the USA was founded.

    Taxes will continue to increase until Californians and Americans say NO to this silent theft and demand a restoration of the Republic. It will take unification of the population to make their “Demands” known in the spirit of Frederick Douglass.

  4. Where do I begin. My wife and I send our payment in to renew our registration. The funds were allocated and the check sent. After a week and a half we noticed the check was not cashed and called in. The DMV agent we spoke with said that she would note the account. At this time the DMV agent informed us not to cancel the check as it would cause extra fees for a returned check. To make matters worse we were told it could take up to 3 months to refund a secondary check if we sent in a separate check.

    Over the next few weeks we made multiple calls to resolve this issue and each time your office informed us to wait and not submit a secondary payment.

    Now here we are, we received a letter of delinquency in the mail with penalties galore. Though I know the letter was most likely sent out automatically the DMV agent we spoke with today told us that it did not matter what the situation was and that we are now responsible for the all fees including the unwarranted penalties.

    I eagerly await your response and proper resolution to this matter. We did as instructed by employees of your government agency and are now being penalized for doing so. You need to make this right.

  5. Carson Watson on

    I’ve been studying to pass the driver’s test -after having driven for 58 yrs. I notice the test is missing two critical areas for questions: first of all there is no mention in the tests that I can find regarding texting while driving -a major cause for concern and accidents nationwide- no mention at all. The tests should have a question about texting in each and every version.
    The other point I’d like to make is today 75% of the drivers must never have taken the test since they’re all driving in the left lane and going slower than those in the right lane. In the “old days” this was not the case. There are no questions about driving in the left lane. People seem to have lost or never had any sensitivity to this problem since they continue to block the left lane preventing a smooth flow of traffic for one and all. (If anyone has traveled in Germany knows, everyone passes on the left and IMMEDIATELY moves to the right to let others pass with no problem. Courtesy seems to be long forgotten in our congested highways.

  6. your dmv provides no avenues to make complaints or resolve issues. it always ends w useless forms or phones that no one answers. i was sent a dl renewal fee for the wrong amount and “had” to go to the local dmv to get it corrected. i was given a form to get a refund for the difference. my refund request was denied because it was “an application fee”. it was not an application fee, it was a renewal fee. dmv seems incapable of admitting when its wrong and unwilling to correct mistakes of its own making. keeping monies that are received in error for what ever reason is dishonest and unfair. but typical of big government it operates without regard to the public because it can.

  7. Dear Jean Shiomoto, please answer why you personally refuse to correct something that is clearly wrong that is causing great hardship to someone that is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease? I simple applied for a handicap placard after 7 years of dealing with Parkinson’s, due to difficulties walking, and my driver’s license was suspended because my neurologist was 2 weeks late getting paperwork back to the DMV. I thought the nightmare was over after another month and a half of fighting to get an appointment and finally taking the safety tests that I passed. The suspension was finally lifted after 30 phone calls and 5 visits to the DMV. If that wasn’t enough, my car insurance jumped 80% because I now have a suspension on my driving record, which before this was clean. Even after you sent me a letter admitting that it was a clerical error by my doctor, and you having full knowledge of my disability and the circumstance, you personally refuse to remove the suspension from my record which will stay for 3 years, costing me another $800. each year that I can’t afford being on SS Disability. This is unconscionable by any standards.

  8. Who wrote the questions for the drivers exams? People want to know. Some of them are purposely written so you will enter the wrong answer. I took the commercial tests in another state and the test was informative and clear. After taking it, it made me feel confident. The test here is misleading, incomplete, and governed greatly by opinions. The air brake test was fair but the others were not. As an example, the question about driving in a tunnel is misleading. It says about being in the tunnel. Any one with a brain will turn the lights on. But the answer is worrying if its windy when exiting the tunnel. One mention in the handbook on page 2-23. ” This problem can be especially bad coming out of tunnels.” And that statement is a fragment. The test question was so incomplete. Before entering a tunnel if it is windy it probably is when you exit. The question is about driving in the tunnel. When I am driving I want clear and accurate instruction. Would another driver feed me a line of crap when my question is about safe driving? The only thing the test does is piss people off and make them think some backward twisted in the head idiot wrote the test. Its as bad as some of the math papers the teacher passes out to my kids. We are suppose to write in what has been left out by the question. Like a zero that you are suppose to take for granted. But what if the teacher never taught it? I am determined to be a safe driver but the test does not encourage it. The drivers test mostly consists of one answer even a fool knows is wrong then two that are right. Others are just an opinion such as distance. Here is another question page 2-21 . ” How far ahead does the handbook say you should look” . It is incomplete. How far ahead? Is that in distance or seconds? Clarify so I know what you mean. This question came up on the test, in the form of a trick question so you will get it wrong. I realize that writing these test questions are not easy because I was taught in college how to write such questions. I still want to know who is responsible for writing them.

  9. We need to get in contact with someone that will actually help us. 4/10/2015 we paid a majority of our 2,300 renewal for our car. We paid 2,100 that day. for some reason the people at the vacaville location is saying we still owe well over what we paid even though we have our renewal papers stating how much we owe. Where did our money go?!

  10. Regarding the phony handicapped placards that are being sold..this is deplorable. My suggestion…if anyone really reads these comments…would be in order to use handicapped spaces, cars must have the handicapped license plates plus the placard on the rear-view mirror and a wallet card or drivers license with a handicapped insignia. I know people who use other peoples placards. Otherwise they should be ticketed. Also..in order to get the handicapped license plate and placard at renewal time, a Dr.s form must be included saying the person still has a problem. I know people who keep driving their dead relatives cars so they can use the spaces.

  11. Tamara M Laws on

    I am writing because I have a very sensitive complaint regarding racist behavior at a Sacramento DMV field office. I am writing a letter to explain my complaint with documentation on the inconsistencies between testers and procedures during a drive test. I have survey I could fill out but the kind of behavior I’m upset about shouldn’t ever happen with a State Employee. I am a retired CDCR employee and my husband still works there and if sending this letter to you via inter-office mail is faster, that’s route I’d prefer. I don’t have any confidence that at an office level Manager would handle the matter correctly. Thank you for any and all attention you give my matter in advance.

  12. Dear Ms. Shiomoto,
    If I were the appointed leader of a very, very large conglomerate such as the California DMV, it would pester my conscience horribly to be hated by the general public! Many, many, many, folks purely hate the DMV, so much so, they would just as soon go to the dentist’s office rather than visit ANY functioning branch! Now I may be embellishing my statement just a wee tiny bit but the sentiment is pure! Have you personally sat in one of your field offices any length of time? Buildings filled with young women totting babies with diapers full of poopiness; oh stink-o! Add to that, smelly old men who haven’t bathed in a week or women soaked with so much perfume it makes a person puke? People passed out on the floor, it’s so bad!!! Sounds like Disneyland indoors. And then sometimes being tasked to sit hours in that environment? What’s wrong?

    Too many visitors with multiple problems and a lack of aptly trained staff. So, you task the AutoClub of California to help out. Great! But then you tie their hands by mandating antiquated forms of monitary exchange. Why? Who, with a senseable mind, carries a check book around anymore, or stuffs loads of cash in their wallet or purse? Few indeed! So how can you expect efficiency & PEACE at the AutoClub?

    When I left there today I told the manager of my local AutoClub branch to stick his AAA card where the sun don’t shine. He, in turn, blamed the State of California for my anger.
    Seems like everyone hates the California DMV. Even the AutoClub!

    Oh, by the way, today, I sat a little over one hour to get service at my friendly, local, AAA. And then I was told the DMV accepts debit cards! What the hell!!!

    THIS IS PURE BULL!!!

  13. I have been driving in Calif. for 57 years and never failed a driving test. The new system of touch screen is a bit frustrating and so is the paper test. I only went into the DMV to re register my car after moving back to Calif. I was not prepared to take the test nor did I expect to, but was told I had to. I did not pass either, the first in my life. I am now studying the online DMV practice tests and am socked that a government agency would post such a mess. The tests have grammatical errors, spelling errors, words left out, words stuck together and sometimes 2 options that are so similar that either could be correct. I believe it is the goal of the DMV to fail its clients over and over to ensure getting another $33.00 in their pocket. I also feel sorry for the one staff member working with a room full of 40+ customers all alone while they are testing. Very archaic. Please fix these tests so your image can be restored. No one would have faith in this system.

  14. I would like to ask since bikes have lights on them and are allowed to go into the street,why aren’t wheelchairs required also the same as bikes to have lights on them as well?. each year people in wheelchairs cross street and sometimes go into the street next to cars,and since they are so hard to see(and especially at nights) why aren’t they equipped with lights both in the front AND back and maybe a flag attached as well,in order for the drivers to at least see them,before they might get hit and killed!! I have had many times see a wheelchair cross the street and a car come close to almost hitting them as they don’t have a flag to attack attention,other times the wheelchair being so low to the ground,might have lights at least in order for cars or trucks to at least see them. I was just wondering why?its for one set of people and not for the other?

  15. I am 73 years old.
    I recently had to take the aforementioned written test.
    I was a schoolteacher for almost 40 years and have a PHD.
    Some of the questions on said teas are very ambiguous and
    could actually have more than one correct answer as worded!
    Also, in MANY states people my age not only have to take
    a written test to renew their driver’s license but also a physical driving test………..
    so that inspectors can see if the “elderly” are still capable
    of correctly controlling a vehicle.
    Perhaps this double testing should be implemented in California
    (say, every two years after the age of 70)

  16. 1. The cause for my mandatory mental evaluation for the DMV was the result of a completely fraudulent DS699 submitted by Nancy Droppa in November 2011–an issue about which my insurance agent then at CSAA informed me.

    2. Dr. Francis Herb advised me in December 2011 and January 2012 that she had never completed such an Evaluation; furthermore, for my multiple-fractured mandible and complete care, I was being tended to by Stanford Medical Center, and I yet retain my Stanford Medical card as evidence–both in writing and verbal dialogue, I informed Dr. Herb of that–info that she consistently ignored. In fact, I was seeing her but once a year as I was being vandalized and otherwise victimized by Droppa and her peer who had assaulted me for no just reason.

    3. DMV Rep Noreen Ayala (Fax: (916) 657-8308) consistently misinterpreted the comments of Dr. Herb in the Med Form of issue. Dr. Herb had indicated that I suffer no cognitive impairment; furthermore, I had been seeing her but once a year for a general physical while my vehicle was regularly vandalized–my window shield smashed and my purse and files confiscated by the same criminals who submitted the unsubstantial poorly worded DS699 that resulted in my Reexamination far from my home territory where I completed major degree programs and other educational coursework such as psychology. The psychiatrist whom I visited through Dr. Herb’s associates, Dr. Jones, advised me to take legal action against the DMV for perpetuating the fraud set forth by the fraudulent and utterly unsubstantiable DS699 prepared by Droppa, for the misinterpretation of Dr. Herb’s Evaluation, and for ignoring that Dr. Herb only was tending to my once-a-year care–a routine physical.

    Ms. Ayala has ignored the valid authority and discretion of Dr. Tran and her Kaiser associates whom I have been seeing for 3.75 years and more as I was born at the San Bernardino Kaiser where I first received medical care, including blood tests.

    Thank you, Adrianna and Patrick of Sacramento Legal Hotline for your efforts to follow through with this investigation and rightful interpretation of relevant facts and documents in this case. Yet, the problem remains to be solved about the misinterpretation of facts and the ulterior motives of these DMV representatives.

    The DMV’s decision to ignore the Reinstatement of My Driver’s License, which was ordered by the Oakland Office that in 12/11 thru 01/12 had ordered my DMV Reexamination, has prevented my ability to transport myself for updated care at Stanford Med for the ultimate conditions that pertain to a multiple-fractured mandible.

    My work and life have been sabotaged as I cannot transport myself back to the Universities from which I graduated, etc. I must detect that a few people working for the DMV are predisposed to maintain their positions through their sabotaging of the work and futures of others. These particular DMV representatives are stonewalling us. Richard at Sacramento Driver’s Safety in 2013 now is gone; the department moved across the hall.

    Dr. Jones in 01/2012 had attached his name to the DS699 in which Dr. Herb had checked that I should be able to drive, etc. he said that she asked him to confirm with that indeed she had even though she was seeing me but once a year for general care. Dr. Jones and Dr. Herb assured me that if someone wrongfully accused me in respect to my safe driving, I should pursue legal action, and that they did not agree with the DMV’s action.

    As a result of my walking and transporting myself from the Luthern and Episcopal Churches in Berkeley to UC Barrows Hall, Morrison Hall, and Libraries, and to the University-Avenue and McArthur BART Stations to attend classes at SFSU, a large individual quickly overpowered me and ultimately assaulted me such that I suffered a multiple lower mandible that was treated five days later at Stanford–specialized care was required.

    The criminal who submitted the DS699 that resulted in so much ado indeed approached me as I was walking on Piedmont Avenue in 2011 , and the individual threatened to harm me and indicated how she had been speaking at the Berkeley Krishna Temple with the individual who fractured my mandible.

    Those two “criminals” engage in extremely immoral activity, and I was attempting to protect myself and my son as he was a minor, etc. from them.

    I was conditioned with constructivist thinking and goals as the coronal apex and Omniscient-Ubiquitous-Omnipotent Cosmos ever guide.

    Sacramento DMV representatives have been influenced by fraud and libel. I am a victim of the immoral subversion that has prevailed in Oakland. I even left behind my Mackie Mixer so as never to walk near the BART stations, Piedmont Avenue, Shattuck Avenue, and University Avenue again. At on point, I left my son with Michael in an apartment with my London rosewood piano that I had meticulously restored in the presence of a friend who had studied privately at Stanford–a piano with narrow, lady-width keys; when I returned from SFSU, I discovered that the criminal had entered my room during my absence and mutilated not only my piano but my IBM Selectric typewriter. Today we must deal with people who seek a paycheck to garnish, and who ignore the value of private study.

    Extreme gangster activity has been occurring in Oakland that is resulting in the brutal assault of helpless and easily exploited individuals. Such phenomena may not be evident until one relies on BART and walking regularly. The criminal who prepared the DS699 utilizes extremely corrupt and hateful words and sounds, and the individual is extremely and unpredictably dangerous–she and her peers were attempting to assault me brutally–they are guilty of aggravated assault.

    Paramount Equity associates helped me to move far from Oakland in 11/2011 and early 2012. Yet, I must be able to transport myself to tend to essential duties and appointments.

    The legal problem is described above as succinctly as possible. I fear for the lives of other helpless individuals who must tend to business in Alameda County and near BART stations. Further explanatory documents and evidence of relevant claims are available; yet, I find that these DMV representatives and associates through the Department of Justice are prone to the reading and interpreting of such documents to suit their own convenience and benefit.

    Please note that I respect you time and life, and I would hope not to impose on you as I am continuing to relay these issues to appropriate authorities.

  17. Barbara Donahue on

    Your operation of the DMV is beyond despicable. You should be fired. Your representatives are rude and inept. They actually broke the law by trying to tell me that a Power of Attorney was not a valid legal document. I’m sure the AG’s office would find that interesting. They shroud themselves in secrecy-always an indicator of a group of people who don’t want to do their jobs, just collect government paychecks-there are never Managers available and they will always call you back, but concept they never do.

    My son is MILITARY and submitted his materials for a license renewal. His eligibility was checked on line as well as personally in a DMV office. Two months and no license. Now your “employees” (rather an oxymoron) said, 1) he wasn’t eligible; 2) he needed a vision check (for a 29 year old?); 3) no he’s eligible and no he doesn’t need a vision test, but oops, they made a mistake and sent his application back, so I have to start from scratch and oh yeah, they voided his check so I have to write a check because of course I can’t get a check from Baghdad.

    You should be mortified. You are and your department are a complete disgrace. And big mistake, I’m a journalist.

    cc: Jerry Brown
    Kamala Harris

  18. Ms. Shiomoto,

    I paid my registration on time, but was billed $23 because DMV took too long to process it. I called, and the agent said he can’t waive the fee because it was more then 10 days since it was processed. Who cares how long it’s been since it was processed? The registration was mailed before the required date, so the agent should be allowed to waive the erroneous fee. Since you don’t allow him to, please take care of this urgent matter yourself immediately.

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