A Safer, More Inclusive Future
Reflecting the communities we serve
AAMVA members are widely recognized as serving the most comprehensive and diverse customer base of any government agency. The business of motor vehicle and driver’s license agencies (MVAs) is to serve everyone and, as COVID-19 has made abundantly clear, to provide essential services even when other government agencies shut down.
The “essentialness” of MVAs rests in the fact that a trusted credential (driver’s license or ID card) and a secure title on a registered, insured vehicle are essentials in our lives today. These trusted credentials provide access to jobs, education, health, other government services and more.
At their heart, MVAs are an essential service provider to everyone—young or old, famous or infamous, rich or poor—regardless of gender, ethnicity, race and ability. As such, MVAs strive to reflect the communities they serve, with goals that include offering equitable and inclusive employment practices and customer policies to support their safety and service missions.
At present, there’s an urgent need across North America to assess the impact of our practices and policies on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and to examine inherent biases, both our own and within the systems and organizations in which we operate. There is an insistent pressure, a positive pressure, to examine policies, procedures, service locations, online service accessibility and employment practices to assess how well they offer equal access to opportunities and to the mobility that driver and vehicle credentials provide.
Some agencies have begun this process by conducting an audit of their agency’s practices or, as in the case of AAMVA, analyzing trends in promotional, recruitment and salary practices, and learning how to talk about race and inclusion. Based on its history of giving jurisdiction members a working group and roundtable framework where they exchange information and identify best practices, AAMVA can be a collaborative space where members share their experiences and practices to strengthen DEI initiatives that improve equitable access to opportunity.
As the DEI article in this issue of MOVE illustrates, we can influence equity and inclusion outcomes by examining the elements of our work that we control, including ourselves. If we can talk about a problem, we’re more likely to be able to solve it.
When it comes to valid credentials, a terrible trend of this pandemic has been the upsurge in fraudsters who rip people of their essential IDs, only to expose them further to financial fraud and worse. Whether through phishing scams, cybercrime or old-fashioned vehicle theft, consumers have been victimized by cyber-fraudsters during the pandemic.
Fraud detection and remediation are practices the AAMVA community has worked hard to develop into best practices and continuous training. We work with an ever-expanding community of identity experts, cyber-crime professionals and government partners to bring the best, most current knowledge and tools to help AAMVA members find and prevent the fraud that infiltrates people’s lives.
In this issue of MOVE, you’ll find articles that are supported by AAMVAcasts on both topics. This is a learning issue for our community that continuously strives to improve its essential public services.
– Anne Ferro
AAMVA President and CEO