There’s the old story about a stick-up man who pulls his gun on a street, points it at a guy and says, “Give me everything you got.” The guy looks at him and says, “Okay, here, but can I can keep my driver’s license? You know how the motor vehicle department is.” Governor Dan Malloy is trying to change attitudes about the Department of Motor Vehicles where it often seems they’re doing you a favor allowing you through the door. Following ear-splitting complaints during the year former State Senator Andres Ayala spent as commissioner, Malloy has installed another Bridgeport resident Dennis Murphy as the man behind the wheel in an acting capacity. Malloy is also proposing reforms that include privatization to streamline services to lessen wait times.
“We know that the way government does business in this new economic reality must change, that the customer–our neighbors and residents–must come first,” says Malloy. “Long wait times experienced by customers at the DMV is simply unacceptable, and that’s why we’re outlining commonsense proposals to lower them. This enhanced flexibility best serves the customer, allows private contractors to conduct most routine motor vehicle transactions, and most importantly, decreases wait times at the DMV. Connecticut state government needs to be flexible and find ways to improve customer service in a cost-effective manner, and with this series of proposals, we’re doing just that. The DMV is going through a massive shift that should have happened decades ago.”
The DMV was a mess long before Ayala took over. Ayala resigned after just a year on the job replaced on an acting basis by Murphy to try to steer the agency straight.
Malloy has submitted legislation that contains three main components.
First, it will allow the state to enter into contracts with private contractors, such as AAA, to provide vehicle registration services. Currently, AAA only provides non-commercial driver’s license services.
Second, the legislation will postpone the issuance of vessel titles until December 31, 2018. That step will free up more backroom staff resources to address the immediate issue of reducing wait times in branches, as well as limit additional traffic in the immediate future within DMV branch offices.
Finally, the legislation eliminates the ban on registering vehicles that have delinquent property taxes and parking tickets. Under current law, the DMV is prohibited from renewing a vehicle registration for an applicant and from registering any other motor vehicle, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or vessel for the applicant if the department has not received notification from any city, town, borough, or taxing district of outstanding tax payments or delinquent parking tickets. This will address a substantial portion of the wait times by customers, many of which are attributable to multiple visits by those who are denied a registration until local taxes or parking tickets are paid. By removing this prohibition, it is expected that the number of customers having to make duplicative trips to branch offices will be minimized, and as such, contribute to reduced wait times and an enhanced customer experience.
The Governor’s legislation is House Bill 5055–An Act Decreasing Wait Times at the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is currently pending in the Transportation Committee.