West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles meets COVID pandemic with innovation, continues to think outside the box
When the global COVID pandemic hit in early 2020, leadership within the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles realized the organization was going to have to come up with a whole new way of doing business. Today, from contactless driver skills testing to online knowledge testing to the upcoming electronic liens and titling, the DMV continues to focus on advancing technology to improve efficiency and provide the best customer service possible.The DMV has completely revamped the way they do business to keep citizens and staff as safe as possible, while greatly expanding opportunities for citizens to conduct DMV business online."Taking over the helm of the Division of Motor Vehicles in early 2020, I could never have imagined the challenges that would come just a few months later,” said DMV Commissioner Everett Frazier. “But it is with sincere pride and gratitude, especially for the hard work of our entire agency, that I can share these great accomplishments over the last two years.“I’d like to thank Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston and Governor Jim Justice for their support of our efforts and encouraging us to move forward and to ‘think outside the box’, which has really propelled our agency forward,” Frazier said.DMV initiatives in response to COVID included the institution of an appointment system to limit the number of people in DMV offices at any one time, reinstatement of a call center to answer customer questions, creation of a contactless driving skills test, increased online services to allow customers to conduct many of their transactions from home, the use of drop boxes at regional offices to leave title and registration documents, online knowledge testing and other changes designed to increase efficiency and make the DMV more user-friendly.As the world adjusts to the start of the third year of a pandemic, the West Virginia DMV continues to focus on what they can control: Giving the best customer service possible, working to develop as many processes and procedures that will assist our customers efficiently and effectively, and working together as a team to advance our agency and the state of West Virginia forward. Here are some of the projects the DMV is currently working on:
- Modernizing outdated mainframe-based technology.
- Promoting the usage of the online transactions through the DMV website.
- Implementing a new, more convenient International Registration Plan (IRP) solution that will allow customers to perform IRP transactions online as well as from a mobile device. This will also provide customers with real time Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration updates made directly to their mobile devices.
- Adding online renewal of a dealer license for West Virginia Automobile Dealers to our current web services.
- Implementing the mobile ID, which is already gaining traction in some states.
- Expanding the availability of web-based business processes and increase the use of online self-service transactions by 5% each year. Improving the safety of the motoring public through public awareness initiatives and driver rehabilitation.
- Developing a customer-centric business system to replace outdated standalone databases to provide state-of-the-art motor vehicle services to customers in an efficient and cost-effective manner by the end of FY 2022.
- Completing the e-citation interface which will allow DMV to electronically import municipal and other court convictions.
- Adding duplicate titles and the ability to check a title status to our online services. Additionally, a fees calculator is scheduled to be added online.
"We continue to strive to provide the best customer service possible,” Frazier said. “Part of that means to be in a constant state of evaluation, always asking ourselves, 'What can we do better?'"