ROBOTIC LICENCE RENEWAL -- CALIFORNIA STARS AGAIN
Recently I had my driver's licence renewed. The procedure was painless. The wait for the actual laminated license wasn't. Why does it
have to take six to eight weeks to receive your official licence from
Victoria? It doesn't. In California it's delivered upon application.
Remember those days, long ago, way back in 1987, when everyone waited
in long line-ups to deposit or receive funds at a bank? Today,
everyone goes to the robotic teller, the ATM. In California, some
non-bureaucrat wondered why no one had used this technology for
renewing a driver's license, it is now possible.
The California, Department of Motor Vehicles was most helpful. They
quickly mailed me lots of information along with the picture alongside this column. Why is California providing efficient service when
British Columbia is not? Because DMV officials there acknowledge that
"technology is critical to a company's success". They "... are
recognizing technology's potential in stretching the taxpayer dollar
more efficiently". We should be so lucky.
California is slightly larger in population and economic stature than
Canada. Their DMV conducts 58 million transactions annually. Along
with NCR Corp., the world leader in ATM manufacture and Anderson
Consulting and Technovision, who provided the "user-friendly" nonbureaucratic application software, the California DMV has recently
initiated pilot projects to test this concept in Glendale, San Mateo
Patterned after automated teller machines, the new system allows
customers to perform more of the renewal process thus reducing processing time, improving the quality of testing and providing assistance to both English-and non-English speaking users.
The California licence renewal machines can also score tests and
collect fees via Visa or Mastercard. The machines feature userfriendly touch screen technology, high-quality graphics and video
displays. Getting a driver's licence becomes FUN at a government
office and not a drag. Imagine, FUN at a government office!
Through a new precedent-setting state law that permits public and
private enterprises to team up in providing solutions to complex
information management problems, the California DMV is the first
state agency to implement advanced computer technology for consumer
use. And, as we all know, if it starts in California ....
"This is a good example of how government can harness the power of
advances in technology to improve efficiency, streamline operations
and provide service to our customers," said DMV Director Frank Zolin.
The project will also serve as a prototype for other state agencies
that may benefit from similar technological advances.
According to visionary Zolin, "I can envision the day when the public
will be able to access any number of government services -- from
voter registration to welfare eligibility to obtaining fishing and
hunting licenses -- through a single self-service system in a local
shopping center, and access to governmental services could truly
become a one-stop shopping experience."
California issues more than 6.5 million driver's licences annually
and with about one million people being added to the population each
year, they were forced to "get with it". Hello Victoria, are you
Gina McGuiness, Communications Manager, DMV,
2415 First Ave.,
Sacramento, California 95818.
Dave Sucash, Manager,
USG Public Relations,
1334 South Patterson Blvd.,
Dayton, Ohio 45479.
If you would like to see this system installed in British Columbia,
phone the Motor Vehicle Branch at 660-2397 in Vancouver. The Minister
in charge of Motor Vehicles is: Ivan Messmer. His phone number in
Victoria is: 1-387-1683.
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