While You Are Waiting
The New York DMV’s three-decade partnership with MVN has allowed for extensive modernization
Customer service can always be improved upon at DMV offices, and technological advancements have set the stage for a variety of upgrades in motor vehicle agencies across North America.
In 1991, under former governor Mario Cuomo, the New York DMV (NY DMV) began its relationship with the Motor Vehicle Network (MVN). Twenty-eight years later, the two organizations still have a strong partnership, in part due to the similar views on evolving processes and facilities.
“I would give credit to both organizations in that we have a partnership that is committed to using modern technology to educate our consumers and provide top notch customer service,” said Commissioner Mark Schroeder, NY DMV.
Following his nomination in January 2019, Commissioner Schroeder led the grand opening celebration of the new and improved Albany district office. The office moved locations entirely, with Commissioner Schroeder noting that “the previous location was ordinary. The new location is extraordinary.”
In addition to the extra space and parking available at the new facility, the office added several pieces of new technology to improve the experience for customers. “We met with NY DMV officials during the construction phase of the project to incorporate new initiatives for customer service and aesthetic ideas to make it a more technologically friendly office,” said Brad Savage, vice president, MVN.
MVN installed several new flat screen monitors at the new office, which provide both educational opportunities and entertainment for waiting patrons, along with a touchscreen kiosk adjacent to the information counter.
The kiosk was designed to educate customers specifically on the intricacies of the Real ID Act. “Instead of taking up the DMV employee’s time, which in turn slows down services for everyone, customers can be quickly directed to the touchscreen to learn about the process,” Brad Savage said. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also offered to waiting customers at the Albany office.
When the new technology was first unveiled, the response was extremely positive. “All customer feedback we’ve received has been great. People really have appreciated our efforts to make their experience at the DMV as pleasant as possible,” Commissioner Schroeder said. Employees from other offices were also impressed, with Commissioner Schroeder noting that there were several requests to implement the technologies at other locations across the state.
MVN says that the majority of their work is done behind the scenes, with programming on the back-end. Along with important DMV information, they also provide a continuously updated news service on these screens, helping customers pass the time while they’re completing transactions. “Whether it be sports, trivia questions, weather, recipes and so on, we create content designed for mass appeal,” Brad Savage said.
With these upgrades comes the question of cost: how much money will this cost the DMV? The answer even further enhances the value of services: $0. MVN provides their solutions at no cost at all to the NY DMV. “All of our services are ad-supported, allowing us to provide top notch customer service initiatives at zero cost to motor vehicle agencies,” said Scott Savage, president, MVN. Jurisdictions using their services also get final approval on what content runs at their facilities.
But in the end, it comes down to teamwork. The NY DMV and MVN’s relationship, through all the years of working together, is stronger than ever. “Through a number of administrations, New York has always been interested in introducing new technology,” Scott and Brad Savage said. “Our work is made easy by the trust and communication displayed by our two organizations.”
Commissioner Schroeder agreed, “[The NY DMV] has identified a comprehensive modernization strategy, which means we’re constantly looking for new ways to evolve the technology we use at our offices. MVN is a great partner for us to move forward with this goal.”