Help is only a phone app away

Getting help or information from government agencies can often be time consuming and frustrating. Figuring out what agency to call and suffering through busy signals and multilayered automated phone directories can make callers forget the reason they called in the first place.

But now people can get help by simply downloading an app through App Store on their smartphone. Yes, the state of California is trying to enter the 21st century. Downloadable apps include Caltrans, the Department of Motor Vehicles, state parks, Economic Development Department and Medi-Cal. There’s even an app for the California Lottery.

By accessing the DMV app, residents can make appointments for field office visits, register their vehicle, prepare to take the written driver exam by taking sample tests, watch driving videos or search for a nearby field office. By using the Caltrans app, drivers can get real-time traffic information including freeway speed, lane closures, California Highway Patrol incidents and general highway information. Don’t drive and text. At the State Parks app, travelers will find everything they need to plan a trip to a state park by searching by locations, activities, categories or park name.

If someone is looking for a job, the EDD app can help them to access more than 20,000 websites and search for jobs by keyword, area or occupation. By using Medi-Cal’s app, patients can find local phone numbers and information about nearby offices, along with health and benefit information.

These are just a few of the apps available from various branches of state government. Official state apps are free, just look for the logo that indicates it’s an official state app.

Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.

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