Back To Blog

How DMVs Are Saving Resources By Going Digital

When it comes to Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs), many citizens don’t realize what it takes to run the operation behind the scenes. Today’s DMV runs much more efficiently than they used to, with an ever-increasing number of states and counties offering renewal services online. But how can DMVs, most of which process over a million renewal notices every month, improve communication with the citizens they serve? And how can they do this while also increasing revenue? In a recent webinar, the team at Granicus explored this conundrum and offered helpful tips.

1. Find New Channels of Communication

Moslimotor vehicle departments send reminders to registered vehicle owners and license holders. Usually they come through hard mail, as many states are still required to send paper notifications. Some departments send email reminders, allowing them to communicate more frequently. And while a majority of Americans have access to email, there is still a small group of people, usually in rural areas, who have difficulty accessing the internet. However, some DMVs are starting to explore connecting with citizens via mobile phones — a highly effective way to reach and remind customers of renewals and reminders.

According to Sid Burgess, one of the webinar speakers and a Senior Solutions Consultant at Granicus, only four state DMVs utilize SMS messaging to contact citizens. With 81 percent of Americans sending and receiving text messages daily, this could be a missed opportunity.

Burgess recommended Granicus’ GovDelivery Communications Suite, which features a way to easily enroll interested parties in a text messaging service that will automatically contact citizens when it’s time to renew either their license or registration. Not only can it remind them, but it can also send them a link to renew online — saving DMVs millions, and citizens the added frustration that accompanies missing renewal windows.

2. Replace Snail Mail With Email

For the DMVs that send paper reminders about upcoming expiration dates, many don’t realize how expensive the campaigns can be. According to Burgess, these paper reminders are expensive to print and send, costing an average of $3.55 each. Consider sending email reminders instead, which only costs an average of $0.58 to send – an enormous savings for the organizations sending over one million reminders a year. In addition to saving processing costs by cutting paper, DMVs who engage with citizens over email and by SMS text see a higher rate of on-time renewals than those who send only paper notices, or no notices at all.

Surprisingly, even though this type of technology is widely available (and incredibly cost effective), only about 20 to 30 percent of departments send license or registration renewals via email.

3. Make your Website Work for You

While it’s a great idea to engage the public with a SMS text or an email, it’s only half of the process. Once you have their attention, where will you send them? To your office, to renew in person?

If your department hasn’t done so already, it’s a great idea to set up a page within your website or through the local government’s website, allowing citizens to renew their license or registration online. This helps alleviate lines, manual processing, and headaches for everyone.

Want to watch the full DMV Spotlight webinar: Secrets to Saving Millions and Driving Revenue? Watch in on-demand here.