Q&A With Kristina Boardman
Wisconsin DMV Administrator and incoming AAMVA Chair
Tell us about your career journey in the motor vehicle industry.
I was a political science major in college, and I started my career with the state in 1995 working for the Wisconsin State Legislature. I ended up working for the legislature for 10 years; I was a committee clerk for a number of committees, but the one I ended up spending the most time with and enjoying the most was transportation. Eventually, I knew I wanted to focus on transportation more in-depth, since it’s a topic that really does affect everyone. I ended up at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and served as the Director of the DMV Bureau of Field Services for five years and then the Wisconsin DMV Deputy Administrator for three years. I have been serving as the Wisconsin DMV Administrator since 2016.
What has your involvement with AAMVA been like?
When I first came to the Wisconsin DMV, the administrator at the time recommended I get involved with AAMVA, and I was sent to an AAMVA regional conference. Of course, I didn’t know anyone there, but it was a great opportunity to quickly dive in and hear everyone’s shared concerns and interests. It’s so nice to know there’s a network out there of people you can always call. AAMVA is a great way to connect with other states and share common issues and find out what vendors are offering. I feel like my participation in AAMVA has really made the Wisconsin DMV better, because we have those resources to call on. I’ve been actively involved in the organization for more than 10 years, most recently serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
What are you most looking forward to in your new position? Any plans for the future?
I’m really excited to start connecting in different ways with other regions. Coming out of COVID-19, it’s an interesting time for the DMV, and we’ve done a lot more online and hopefully trained a generation of our customers on how to do their business with the DMV differently. I’m excited to see how that continues to evolve. But I also recognize we’re up against some challenges with an increase in highway crashes and fatalities, and we need to find out what we can be doing to keep records up-to-date and take actions to make sure we are revoking licenses when necessary. Exchanging driver history records from state to state will be a key way to improve highway safety.
What strengths are you bringing to your new role?
One of my strengths is maintaining an open mind on doing business differently and being open to embracing the changes in technology that can help us do our jobs in new and different ways. I do enjoy learning the small details and understanding how systems work. Our jobs are very dependent on functioning IT systems. Knowing that Wisconsin has been involved in many of these systems and has benefited from working with other states, I hope I can share that and encourage other states to join in as well. I do have a lot of experience on the board, so I know a lot of the issues we have been working through. I’m really looking forward to sharing the voice for all interested parties.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’ve been married to my husband, Adam, for 27 years, and we have two children. We love to travel abroad—we’ve been to Ireland a few times—and we enjoy going to Door County, Wisconsin, to relax.