Online DMV services growing
- By Dibya Sarkar
- May 28, 2001
Accenture 2001 State Motor Vehicle Agencies Internet Utilization: A Status Update on Customer Services Over the Web
The American public's appetite for e-government has driven state motor vehicle
agencies across the country to offer even more online services from a year
In a follow-up study to its December 1999 report, Accenture, a management
and technology consulting firm, found that nearly four times more agencies
are adopting the Internet as a way to channel customers to their services.
"The motor vehicle agencies are heeding the call of citizens, and that call
is that they want e-government as a priority," said Rob Berton, an Accenture
partner. "Reality is moving closer to rhetoric."
The agencies, which affect a broad spectrum of the population, are offering
more "choice, convenience and control," he said. They are moving away from
providing only information on their Web sites to offering online transactions,
such as registration or driver's license renewals, license plates, citation
payments or inquiries.
In 1999, the study reported that 70 percent of the states offered only general
information or downloadable forms. In 2000, that number decreased to 40
percent. Concurrently, states offering one online service increased from
25 percent to 59 percent, and states offering at least two online services
rose from 8 percent to 29 percent.
Online registration renewal is the most widely used transaction, with more
than 40 percent of agencies offering it, up from 18 percent in 1999. Massachusetts
and Virginia offer the most services, seven each, among states.
Released May 21, the study was conducted in January and does not include
recent advancements. For example, Delaware unveiled its online motor vehicle
department agency in mid-April.
Berton said people should expect to see further substantial progress. Two
such areas may include traffic citation payments, offered by only 2 percent
of states, and driver's license renewals, available in 10 percent of states.
Vision testing is one barrier to renewing licenses, but he said states could
make those tests more accessible at multiple sites, such as doctor's offices
or vision centers. Currently, New Mexico is conducting a pilot project of
online vision tests and more states may follow.
Berton said as more people get comfortable navigating through one-stop government
portals and motor vehicle agencies become more proactive in offering their
services, the services will increase even more.