Utah rolls out registration system
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Oct 05, 2001
In about two weeks, Utah's Motor Vehicle Administration will finish implementing
a new system for its registration and titling services, a process that had
its roots nearly five years ago.
The new system, developed with American Management Systems Inc., eliminates
what was a paper-intensive process, reduces data-entry errors, and cuts
the time it takes to transfer or deliver a new vehicle title—which has
taken six to 12 weeks—down to five days.
Another benefit, said Viola Bodrero, the director of the state motor
vehicle department, is that law enforcement agencies can get up-to-date
information about registered vehicles. Previously, they had to wait until
information was input into the system from the paper-based process, she
The state has 2.2 million vehicles, including passenger cars, trucks,
watercraft and off-highway vehicles, she said.
The state had operated a 1970s-era mainframe system that wasn't integrated
with the cashiering system, Bodrero said. Complicating matters was that
the agency, which is part of the Utah State Tax Commission, has 35 offices
throughout the state, some operated by counties. That meant paper forms
were mailed to the main Salt Lake City office to be processed. Those forms
moved through six stations until information was keyed in to the system.
"There were opportunities to introduce more errors," Bodrero said. Now,
customer information is keyed in to the system directly from the statewide
Five years ago, the state began looking for a better system. In 1997,
after a bidding process, Utah officials awarded AMS the contract. The state
has since paid the company about $14 million for the new system, which was
rolled out last April on an office-by-office basis. The last three offices
will be tied into the system in the next two weeks, she said.
Craig Lewis, a vice president with AMS' state and local division, said
that although other states have elaborate front-end systems, their back-end
systems are quite antiquated. He said integrating financial transactions
with the different offices and levels of government and converting the sheer
volume of historical data to a new system is quite complex.
Utah was quite "forward-thinking" in its approach compared with other
states, he said, adding that AMS and the state took about a year to understand
the business processes involved before creating the system.
Bodrero said the state has created a new unit for quality assurance,
transferring employees from the data-entry function. The state also plans
to test a limited version of the system at car dealerships and rental car
companies so that the vehicle registration process can begin even earlier.
Another application would be to send liens electronically to financial institutions
rather than on paper.