Improved Online Services Green Buildings Highlighted
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: Mike Marando, Steve Haskins, Armando Botello, Mike Miller
The New DMV: Improved Online Services, Green Buildings Hightlighted 2006
More than 10 million online vehicle registration renewals recorded during the year
SacramentoThe end of 2006 will bring to a close a year in which the Department of Motor Vehicles expanded its online services to make it more convenient for Californians to conduct DMV business from the comfort of their homes or offices as well as saving them time and money.
"We're very proud of what we have accomplished during 2006 by utilizing technology to better serve our customers," said DMV Director George Valverde. "Although this year is coming to an end, we will continue to develop new and improved ways to provide our services during 2007."
From the use of electronic checks to pay for online transactions to providing online ability to update change of address and notify the department when you sell your car, the DMV has developed a long list of services which do not require a customer to visit a DMV office.
Customers can obtain information by visiting the DMV's new and improved Web site - www.dmv.ca.gov -- which now includes complete sections for teens and senior drivers as well as sample written driver license tests, fraud and identity theft information, a complete list of DMV forms and much more.
When an office visit is absolutely necessary, appointments for up to three transactions can also be made online or by phone, another feature implemented in 2006 that has become very popular.
Online vehicle registration renewal has become the most popular service offered online. The department surpassed 10 million online renewals over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with three million of those renewals made in just the past eight months.
The number of vehicles eligible for online renewals has seen a notable increase now that all private insurance policies are reported to DMV electronically as part of SB 1500, a new law that was fully implemented during 2006. Under terms of SB 1500, once DMV is notified of the lack of an insurance policy or a policy cancellation, the vehicle owner is given up to 45 days to provide proof of a valid policy or have the registration cancelled.
Nearly one million drivers have also renewed their licenses online, while another half-million more have ordered personalized plates.
During 2006, vehicle-related transactions offered through the Business Partner Automation Program were increased to include Registered Owner Transfers, the issuance of Salvage and Non-repairable certificates, processing of Junk applications, and the processing of Vehicle License Fee Refunds. In addition, the Department has initiated the development of a web portal that will include a secure access channel for all private industry partners.
Not all improvements to DMV services were technology-driven; such is the case with the new Saturday schedule that went into effect at the start of 2006 under which most DMV offices are open for business the third Saturday of every month with no changes in their hours of operation during the previous week
During 2006 the DMV reached the 75,000 threshold of decals distributed to owners of qualifying hybrid vehicles which allows them to drive solo in California's High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes for the next five years. Beginning January 1, 2007, the Department will distribute an additional 10,000 stickers under a bill signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in October 2006.
Another very successful effort undertaken by DMV under a new state law has been the partnership with Donate Life California. Under the new program, anyone who checks "Yes!" when applying for or renewing a driver license or I.D. card will have their information electronically submitted to the state's official organ and tissue donor registry. DMV has added the names of almost one million donors during 2006.
The DMV is also looking to offer even more customer friendly services in the future, which is the reason behind the 12 Self Service Terminals being tested since May in different southern California locations. The terminals, nine of which are installed outdoors and available 24 hours a day, 7 days week, provide vehicle registration transactions such as renewals, planned non-operation filing, deposit of fees etc. and average over 1,400 transactions each month. Customers who use the terminals to renew their vehicle registration receive their updated registration cards and license plate tags within seconds, and have the option of paying with cash, debit or credit card.
In addition, the DMV took a giant step toward "building green" in 2006, as two new, energy-efficient field offices were dedicated in Sacramento and San Ysidro. The two buildings replaced much smaller and older offices in the same locations and are both registered with the U.S. Green Building Council for their environmentally-friendly, energy efficient designs.
Coming in 2007 are plans to explore options for the "mixed use" development of two properties in San Francisco and San Diego, which would combine green technology into new buildings for expanded DMV services, retail and business purposes and perhaps even residential uses.
These innovations position the DMV to address future changes and to serve a growing number of Californians without the need to add additional facilities.
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