|CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), in keeping with the vision of its parent agency the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT), is taking off on a rocketship ride of innovation. |
“Everyone who comes into our DMV should be treated as a guest, not a customer,” said Everett Frazier, Commissioner.
The DMV is one of four agencies that make up the DOT. West Virginia Division of Highways, Parkways Authority, and the new Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities are the other three. Secretary of Transportation, Jimmy Wriston, P.E., leads the agencies to work together with a “One DOT” vision, to lend their expertise to each other and build on each others success. Working closely with its sister agencies is paying off for the DMV.
|“We have reduced the turnover among our staff,” said Frazier. “Some of our employees worked full time and still qualified for public assistance before. It was shameful. They worked so hard. I came in in March of 2020, and was embarrassed. The Classification and Compensation Career Plan, designed by the Division of Highways, and adapted for DMV, fixed all that.”|
With employees earning competitive salaries based on their placement in steps within the plan, and customer service training provided by WVDOT Human Resources, the DMV began to thrive. Overcoming the challenges of the pandemic itself led to other adaptations and innovations.
|One of the biggest innovations by the DMV is the ability to take drivers’ knowledge tests online. |
“A kid, 15 years old, can now sit at the kitchen table and take their knowledge test online, and never have to leave the house,” Frazier said. In less than a year since the online knowledge test has been implemented, more than 50,000 people have taken advantage of the service. “We worked with schools to set it up so that kids who don’t have access to a computer at home can take the test and get on the road to getting their license.”
“That’s 50,000 people that don’t have to come to the DMV,” said DMV Deputy Director Linda Ellis. If they pass, “They just get their results, get their picture taken, and get their learners permit.”
|The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently realized a goal to get overall wait plus service times in their main and regional offices down to an average of 30 minutes or less. That total begins when a guest walks in, and includes both the wait time and service time. |
When DMV Commissioner Everett Frazier was appointed in 2020, he knew long wait times at the DMV were one of the division’s most frequent complaints.
Frazier and his staff instituted a system to allow patrons to make appointments at the DMV office so they could get in and out faster. The DMV installed automated kiosks for customers to renew drivers’ licenses and registrations and developed online services for many DMV functions. Together, these new initiatives have cut down on the number of people who have to physically go to their DMV office, while customer service training for employees has shortened the wait for those who still need to go to the DMV.
“I’ve been talking to other states,” said Frazier. “They asked how we did the online learners tests. How do we verify accuracy? How do the cameras work? This isn’t something every state does. West Virginia is a leader in many ways and we’re just not used to thinking about that.”