The new director of the state’s DMV plans to ask the Legislature to pass a bill that would allow 80 new, self-service kiosks in many Nevada neighborhoods.
The director, Bruce Breslow, who has been on the job for less than a month, has said that the “DMV in a box” program would “revolutionize” how the state offers services.
“That is our way of adding another 80 DMV offices to the state of Nevada without adding any new costs to the state,” he said.
The program would be self-funded through what Breslow called “convenience fees.”
Customers could go to strategically-placed kiosks throughout Nevada – at university campuses, city centers, retail centers – to access kiosks where they could pay for and print car registration tabs and driver’s records. In the future, customers could renew licenses at kiosks and even take driver’s license photos.
Breslow billed the program as a way to beat long lines and save a drive to a distant DMV office. If the kiosks become popular, they would further reduce lines at DMV offices since more people would be using kiosks.
The caveat here is that customers can already access many services – for free – on the DMV’s website.
Breslow, however, said that the kiosks would reach customers who can’t afford or do not know how to use a computer.
The kiosk would also print a license plate decal immediately whereas customers would use the DMV’s website would have to wait several days for the decal to arrive by mail.
Breslow testified before a legislative budget committee, where he stressed that the program would cost no money to the state.
Gov. Brian Sandoval has proposed to cut spending in many sectors including K-12 and higher education and health and human services in his $5.8 billion budget.
Legislators, maybe understandably, may be averse to any new spending proposals when they are struggling with ways to maintain services at current levels.
Breslow said he would have vendors bid for a contract to supply the machines, some of which could be on the ground by May, 2012.
As a more immediate way to reduce lines at current offices, Breslow also said that the DMV website will soon be hosting live wait times at offices. This will allow customers to check wait times at home before deciding to make a trip to a DMV office.
For the kiosks, the vendors would recoup the cost of manufacturing, installing and maintaining the kiosks via “convenience fees.”
Breslow said that he hopes the fees would be low because the vendors may lower their bids to win a contract for so many kiosks.
“We’re hoping that by having quite a few new kiosks, that would compel them to lower their transaction fees,” he said.
Right now, the state levies $1 fees for printing drivers’ records and about $5 for printing car registration tabs.
The state currently operates 27 kiosks, 17 of which are inside of DMV offices.
At a technical level, the proposal would move the kiosk program to a new, self-funding program. The kiosks are currently funded through revenue from the DMV’s share of the state’s Highway Fund.
Use of the state’s current kiosks has increased year by year with 353,000 transactions during fiscal year 2009, according to the DMV.
Nevada’s Legislature convenes Feb. 7.
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