Study: DMV Online Services are Slim

Three out of four state motor vehicle agencies do not offer people the opportunity to conduct business online, according to a study by Andersen Consulting.

At the end of last year, when the study was conducted, 13 states offered online transactions, nine accepted online vehicle registration and seven allowed people to order license plates electronically.

The study found Internet transactions save the government money. A typical online transaction costs 10 cents to 40 cents to process, while a traditional office visit costs $40 to $400, according to the study.

The study gave the motor vehicle departments of Massachusetts and Virginia kudos for being progressive. In Massachusetts, drivers can go online to pay fines with a credit card, handle registrations and buy special license plates. In Virginia, people can go online to file changes of address, create or buy a license plate, get an identification card, replace a driver's license, renew registrations, request an administrative hearing and order a copy of their motor vehicle record.

"While significant room for improvement exists, some states do get it," said Stephen Rohleder, Andersen Consulting managing partner responsible for the USA Government practice. "In our e-world, those governments that do not migrate in this direction will be left behind."

The 47 motor vehicle agencies, including Washington, D.C., that have created a World Wide Web site use it to disseminate general information about agency services. In Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey and North Dakota, that is the motor vehicle agency Web site's sole purpose. Thirty-nine states allow customers to download forms, providing instructions for their manual completion.

Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky and Rhode Island did not have motor vehicle department Web sites.

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