The California State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is in the process of converting 33 DMV offices to a state-of-the-art computer system much like the line-management system in place at Disneyland called “fast pass.” The DMV system, called DMV-Q, sets up queuing systems to increase the efficiency of licensing and registration processes. Offices in 32 U.S. states currently use the DMV-Q system, developed by the Q-Matic Corp. of Sweden.
When people visit an office using the DMV-Q system, they check in at a window, where an employee keys in the kind of transaction they need and gives them a ticket. The computer sorts and prioritizes transactions and sends customers to the appropriate windows for their requests. “In the meantime, folks can relax and read a book or magazine and wait for their number to be called,” explains Steven Gourley, director of the California DMV. “In offices with the system, wait tim
es have been reduced and customers are very satisfied.”
In the coming months, the DMV is planning to add an Internet component to the DMV-Q system, enabling customers to check wait times of individual offices from their home computers.
Another effective means of shortening your DMV wait time is to make an appointment before showing up at the office. You can do so online or over the phone using an automated 24-hour system. “Appointments combined with the DMV-Q system really do translate into some big changes in how the DMV is doing business,” says Gourley.
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