Driving Change Through DMV Reform
Driving Change Through DMV Reform
As part of Governor Pat McCrory’s initiative to improve customer service and decrease wait times at North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles offices, officials in 2013 started looking at the flow of business functions in its offices.
In the first-ever "Voice of the Customer" survey in January 2014, NCDMV asked customers what they thought about driver services and what they needed. The results of the survey are the basis for the division's improvement efforts – an initiative called "Driving Change Through DMV Reform."
At the guidance of Governor McCrory, NCDMV has taken numerous steps to drive change, including extending business hours in more than 20 offices and providing customer service training for employees.
In 2015, NCDMV also launched online driver license renewal, started issuing more durable, secure licenses and began renovating the busiest driver license offices in the state – all efforts to increase positive customer experiences.
Online Driver License Renewal
Launched in 2015, online driver license renewal allows eligible customers to conveniently and quickly renew their driver license any time without having to visit a driver license office.
During a four-month testing phase, more than 100,000 customers renewed their license using the online service – nearly a third of all new renewals during that period – and freed up 20,000 staff hours to serve other customer needs.
Allowing online renewals decreases waiting lines, an important consideration when NCDMV projects that driver license customers will grow by 1.9 million over the next 20 years.
NCDMV's goal is to have 30 percent, or about 200,000, of all eligible license renewals completed online..
NCDMV Office Enhancements
After a pilot program, renovations and upgrades began in 2015 on the busiest 25 DMV offices across the state to help reduce wait times.
The offices are receiving front-desk greeters to help identify and serve the needs of customers once they arrive. This includes ensuring they have correct documents, guiding them to self-service kiosks to print necessary documents or complete online DMV services.
Customers who need to complete services in the office will receive a time-stamped queuing ticket and be able to track their wait as part of a queue-flow system.
Newly enhanced offices also include cameras at every license examiner station to prevent customers from having to wait in another line to get their license photos taken, and customer-facing screens at each station will allow them to more quickly verify their personal information.
Each station will also have a scanner and a printer to speed up the process of issuing a license. And, for the first time, customers can pay for services using credit and debit cards.
NCDMV is also adding free Wi-Fi to offices for customers to use when they do have to wait.
New Durable, Secure License
NCDMV began issuing a more secure and durable type of license through online renewal and online duplicate request in the summer of 2015.
The new license – coated in a protective, bendable and waterproof synthetic material called Teslin® -- offers a durable card that will not crack or fade. It also helps prevent counterfeiting, reduces the risk of identity theft, decreases the potential for fraud and meets federally recommended security features.
New security features include high-resolution graphics and laser-etched verbiage, as well as overlapping “ghost images” in various colors.
The new license is expected to be available in NCDMV offices by Thanksgiving 2015.
DMV Mobile Offices
The more compact, cost-efficient NCDMV mobile office replaces the division's larger, aging RV-style mobile units that provide driver license services to small towns and remote areas across the state.
The first of its kind in the nation, the new mobile office contains all the components of an actual DMV office, but it is transported in a specially outfitted SUV and can be assembled almost anywhere.
In addition to reaching more customers, NCDMV will see a significant cost savings by phasing out the existing mobile RV units and operating the new mobile offices at a fraction of the cost.
Learn more about the DMV mobile office and its benefits.
Extending Hours of Service
Since launching the Extended Hours Program in March 2013, 21 driver license office locations across the state are now open beyond standard business hours.
Thirteen locations are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Eight offices are open on the first Saturday of the month, from 8 a.m. to noon, with shortened Wednesday hours of 8 a.m. to noon.
About 85 percent of North Carolina residents are now within a 30-mile radius of a driver license office with extended hours. More than 110,000 customers have been served during extended Saturday hours since the program started.
Learn more about the Extended Hours Program and the offices included in the program.
MyDMV offers North Carolina citizens a secure way to view their personal driver license and vehicle information, such as driver license expiration dates and registration information for their vehicles.
As the portal grows, it will offer "single sign-on," which provides customers direct access to DMV online services without the need to sign on to each application. It will also offer facial recognition, photo updates, renewals and credit card payments via phone; 24/7 customer care coverage, including appointment scheduling, email reminders, system call backs and online chat; and boat registration when renewing trailers.
NCDMV began issuing a "VETERAN" designation on driver licenses and identification cards in 2014 to help veterans get military discounts without having to show paperwork or other identification. Veterans who were honorably discharged can bring their DD-214 discharge forms to apply at any driver license office.
In one year, NCDMV issued more than 27,000 cards with veteran designations statewide.
Customer Service Training
Working with Wake Technical Community College, NCDMV developed the AchieveGlobal Customer Service® training program, which explores the value of quality customer service, provides the skills necessary for employee development, builds constructive relationships and recognizes employees who exhibit good customer service qualities.
This training program is an integral step to improving overall customer service, a major goal of NCDMV reform efforts.
Since it launched in 2014, more than 1,800 customer-facing employees – including the contractors and staff of 120 license plate agencies statewide – have gone through the course.