December 23, 2003

DMV Kiosks

Do-it-yourself kiosks are just fine with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
[published by Kiosk Magazine]


Do-it-yourself kiosks are just fine with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. At least that's the news we just heard when KIOSK magazine followed up on the project. The state DMV has been working on a pilot project to improve services to customers.

This pilot project is one result of the Nevada DMV's overall goal of reducing wait times in the offices to one hour or less for all transactions at all times. "We've brainstormed on every possible way to achieve this. The kiosk is one technology project we felt was worth pursuing," said Nevada DMV Public Information Officer Kevin Malone. Other solutions include staffing and legislative/statutory changes.

The vehicle registration renewal transaction is the most common transaction the DMV has and is central to the wait times. Their Internet, IVR (phone) and mail-in programs now handle approximately 60% of the vehicle renewals, which leaves 40% of VR renewals being processed at an office when they don't have to be.

The kiosk is being used to divert customers from waiting in line for a technician while also addressing their (customers) reasons for visiting an office in the first place. "A certain percentage of customers simply want the decal and registration slip in their hand," noted Malone. "They have had snafus in the mail previously and/or do not want to run the risk of being cited for expired plates."

Another reason is that many Las Vegas residents are tip earners and want to pay with cash. Again the kiosk was a logical solution. The kiosk accepts cash, debit or credit cards, gives change (fees are in round dollars only) and prints and dispenses the registration slip and decal. Screens are in English and Spanish. The machine will scan a barcode at the bottom of the mailed renewal notice or the customer can enter the license plate number and last 4 digits of the VIN.

"One problem at this point," mentioned Malone "is that it does not accept Visa debit cards easily." He said that customers are often forced to do multiple swipes with the card. (The terminal accepts Visa, MC, Amex, Discover) A more important problem Malone addressed is that the conveyor belt system used to dispense change jams or loses money frequently. Because of this, they've needed to have a technician sitting by the machine to clear the jams and get the customer their change, slip and decal. Malone said, however, that this is only a minor technical problem that he believes the vendor will be able to fix. Otherwise, the system has worked out very well for the Nevada DMV.

"The customers who have used it have liked it," said Malone. All DMV customers have to go to an information counter first. For customers with a 'clean' registration renewal quipped Malone, "we give them the choice of waiting for a half-hour or more or doing it on the machine." For the customer it's an easy decision.

If this pilot is successful, the DMV plans to install up to 20 additional machines in offices statewide. After that, they would foresee expanding the kiosks to outside locations such as banks and malls. The Nevada Legislature appropriated $2M to pay commissions (5% or $15 per transaction, whichever is lower) on these self-service kiosks over two years.


Posted by Craig at December 23, 2003 11:55 PM