DMV News Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThursday, January 20, 2011
DMV Implements More Automation and Efficiencies
Cost-Cutting Measures Enhance Customer Service
RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles continues to gain efficiencies and reduce costs while providing more services for Virginians. "During fiscally challenging times, we must be even more creative to help reduce costs while maintaining quality customer service," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. "The agency's ongoing reforms represent our focus on technology to meet customers' needs. It's a new way of thinking, a new way of doing business, and ultimately a way to help the agency progress despite ever-diminishing resources."
Automated Renewal Reminders
As of January 1, 2011, almost 230,000 DMV customers had signed up to receive vehicle registration (decal) renewal reminders via email or phone message, rather than getting a paper reminder in the mail. Since each piece of snail mail not processed by DMV saves 59 cents in printing, processing and postage costs, the 230,000 customers who opted for the new service represent a savings of almost $135,700. The annual cost of printing and mailing paper renewal notices to approximately 5.3 million DMV customers across Virginia is $2.4 million. This month, DMV will offer customers the option of receiving decal renewal reminders via text message.
To receive renewal notices via email or phone message, customers visit www.dmvNOW.com and sign up for a myDMV account -- similar to the accounts individuals have with banks, utilities, Facebook, online music stores, and more. With a myDMV account and accompanying Personal Identification Number (PIN), customers can conduct a variety of secure transactions such as renewing driver's licenses or ID cards, and obtain information specific to them, such as their driving record.
Instant PIN Issuance
PINs are issued to customers over the phone, online and at any DMV office, allowing customers to complete their online DMV business the same day. Compared to the previous method of mailing PINs to customers, the new service saves DMV thousands of dollars in paper and mailing costs. Since March, DMV has issued more than 320,000 PINs representing $120,000 in savings.
License and ID Delivery Status Tracking
Customers can track the delivery status of their driver's license or identification card online. Twenty-four hours after applying for or renewing their license or ID card at a DMV customer service center or through the website, customers access their DMV account and will either see that their license or ID card is in production by DMV, or the date that the card was mailed. As of mid-December, an average of 125 customers per day tracked the delivery status of their license or ID online.
Customer-facing Debit/Credit Card Machines
Additional debit/credit card machines were installed at all of DMV's 74 customer service centers (CSCs). Before the additional machines were added to the front counter windows, DMV customer service representatives used a shared debit/credit card machine located on the back counter. In some instances, staff had to wait to use the shared machine, which prolonged the customer's transaction. Now that customers can swipe their own debit or credit cards, CSCs have experienced a decrease in service times.
License Test Upgrades
Upgrades were made last August to DMV's automated testing system, which is used to test a driver's license applicant's knowledge of safe driving and the rules of the road. The enhancements are expected to result in more customers using the automated testing stations, instead of the paper knowledge tests, which cost the agency, and subsequently taxpayers, more money to manually administer and grade.
Identity Theft Passport Applications at DMV
Individuals who are victims of identity theft may obtain and submit Identity Theft Passport applications at any of DMV's 74 customer service centers statewide. DMV staff forwards applications to the Office of the Attorney General, which administers the Identity Theft Passport program. As of January 1, 2011, the Attorney General's Office had received 13 ID Theft Passport applications from DMV.
Toll-free Number Elimination
In April 2010, DMV replaced its toll-free customer phone number, 1-866-DMV-LINE, with a local number, 804-497-7100. DMV's new number will produce approximately $500,000 in savings. Two of DMV's toll-free phone numbers were not replaced. Deaf or hard-of-hearing customers may still connect with the teletypewriter device (TTY) at 1-800-272-9268. Also, customers can still complete their transactions through DMV's automated phone service at 1-888-337-4782.
Efficiencies for Truckers
DMV launched an Automated Routing Solution in March 2010 that improved the timeliness and accuracy of hauling permits issued to truckers moving oversize and overweight loads throughout the Commonwealth. Also, trucking companies can now participate in DMV's new EZ Fleet program, allowing them to title and register their own fleets of vehicles without visiting a DMV customer service center.
DMV has identified paper savings of 2.7 million pieces annually, which is the equivalent of 324 trees. In addition, the DMV headquarters building in Richmond will save $6,000 annually from an earlier automatic light shut-off time of 8:30 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. Also, live streaming Internet video of transportation-related boards and commission meetings held at DMV headquarters not only improves access to government, it also can reduce commuting costs and other environmental impacts.
"These savings are adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars and reaffirm that enhanced customer service is possible even in the midst of an economic downturn," Holcomb said.