Musings: 2021 Issue 2

Musings: 2021 Issue 2

In 20 years, what will be the biggest change at DMVs?

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Matt Cole, Director, Division of Driver Licensing, Department of Vehicle Regulation, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

As we progress into the next era of credentialing, our dependency on brick-and-mortar buildings should decrease greatly. We have already moved into the future with widespread online renewal services introduced in many jurisdictions.

I believe that DVR will see a large departure from our current structure, with the focus becoming more on online identity services. The digital identity world is going to be such a large portion of any services and goods we will look to obtain and how we protect those identities.

The speed at which these innovations become widely available will be of great interest to the DMV community as we work to perfect what we do now, while we look to the horizon for those foreseeable and innovative changes that we know are on the way. What we do know is that we will lead the way with great customer service and a desire to meet all the growing needs of our communities.

Marla McHughes, Assistant Administrator of Driver Services, Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration

There will be no paper, everything will be electronically generated directly to and from the DMV. There will be no reason for an in-person visit to an office and the offices will disappear.

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, from @SC_DMV via Twitter

In 20 years, DMVs will be exclusively virtual. Transactions will all be performed online. Autonomous vehicles will negate the requirement for driver’s licenses. ID cards will transition to biometrics, effectively eliminating the need for credentials as we know them. In fact, the biometric identification confirmation process will begin at birth.

Derek Kuhn, DMV Communications Specialist, Colorado Department of Revenue

Autonomous vehicles will need to be registered, or the artificial intelligence behind it will need to be licensed in some fashion.

Susan Guyer, Chief Communication & Engagement Officer, Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The biggest change will be the user-driven transaction experience. Today, jurisdictions offer customers options to complete transactions in person, at a kiosk, online, by phone or through an app. But in many instances, how the customer can complete the transaction is actually dictated by the transaction itself rather than user preference. Many transactions require physical documents, wet signatures or updated photographs. As technology expands to include document scanning, user authentication and more automated processes such as the expansion of electronic lien and title, users will have more flexibility to demand a seamless experience at whatever location—virtual or in-person—they choose to utilize.

John E. Bredehoft, Strategic Marketing Manager, IDEMIA

Reduced need to go to a physical DMV. Behind-the-wheel tests will still be needed, but COVID-19 has accelerated the move toward online operations, even for the presentation of required documents.

Lisa Danetz, Democracy Fund

DMVs (at least physical offices and online services) will transform to become state resident service centers, providing one stop for a broad array of state services.

Patrick Fernan, Deputy Administrator, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles

DMVs will be providing birth and death records, hunting and fishing licenses, and other state services along with current products.

Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, from @VTDMV via Twitter

We will move from fuel taxes to some sort of mileage tax. The proliferation of electric vehicles will force change to how highways are funded.

Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services, from @MnDPS_DVS via Twitter

Mobile identification cards, electric vehicles and expanded online services on mobile devices will be the biggest changes in the next 20 years.


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