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DMV pilot program hopes to improve wait times, customer service

Posted October 9, 2013

— A new pilot program at the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is working to cut down on long lines, long wait times and poor customer service – three complaints often heard at the department.

DMV leaders say three of the pilot sites – in south Charlotte, Cary and north Raleigh – have seen a 48 percent improvement overall in the average wait time. The department has also extended its weekday hours at 11 offices across the state, and 19 offices now offer Saturday service. WiFi service is also being rolled out statewide.

At the North Raleigh pilot office on Spring Forest Road, the DMV has added a greeter to help customers when they arrive.

“How can I help you?” Angela Bridges asked a customer Wednesday. “Did you happen to bring your birth certificate or passport that spells your middle name?”

Kiosks are also part of the program. If customers forget important documents, such as a bill or insurance information, they can print it at a kiosk instead of having to go back home and get it.

“I can see the difference … it’s a streamlined process,” said customer Gunvant Bhakta. “I think the main thing is the customer service.”

DMV Commissioner Kelly Thomas DMV program hopes to improve wait times, customer service

DMV leaders say they want customers to feel like more than just a number.

“While we’re trying to get the customer’s experience fixed, we’re also fixing all the policies and procedures behind the scenes,” said DMV Commissioner Kelly Thomas. “The way forward is a continuation of improvements.”

Thomas says he is also seeking input from employees. However, there are two things he doesn’t want to hear: “’that’s the way we’ve always done it’ or ‘we tried that before.’ Those two particularly touch a nerve," he said.

The DMV’s pilot program is scheduled to be rolled out to five more offices early next year, including one in west Fayetteville. The department is also trying to improve its customer service with the use of its three mobile units, one of which will be at the North Carolina State Fair.

13 Comments

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  • shawn36003 Oct 11, 1:48 p.m.

    Why do you need a birth certificate or a bill if you already have a license and need to renew it?

  • Sherlock Oct 11, 10:32 a.m.

    Not by going to the fair!

  • corey3rd2 Oct 10, 12:37 p.m.

    The people who administer the driving test are putting their lives on the line having to deal with teenagers at the wheel.

  • CastIronEgret Oct 10, 12:31 p.m.

    I hope it's easier now. A couple of years ago I couldn't use a military spouse ID or passport our out-of-state valid driver's license to get a NC license. It had to be the little paper social security card that was somewhere in our packing boxes. Took 2 months to get a SS card and you can't buy a car in NC without an NC license. Hope they changed that now.

  • geaton Oct 10, 10:41 a.m.

    The people on New Bern Ave DMV would not be so rude it we were not dealing with the rude public all day. We take a lot of abuse!

  • busyb97 Oct 10, 10:22 a.m.

    So much of the stuff can be done online these days.
    Which is good, and bad. When we moved, I just had to submit a change of address online....but that was bad also because they didn't send a notification to my OLD address to even verify that a change was submitted- they just mailed out a new driver's license with my mug shot on it- no questions asked. That would make it super easy for an ID thief to obtain a license at any address they choose with my name/info on it! (ANd we had just had our ID info stolen...so this was and still is a concern. I don't know if someone hasn't done that!). WHen you change an address with the USPS or banks or most major accounts, they send you a mail notification (or email) at both addresses- the old and the new....just to be sure. When we called the DMV, they didn't care. (I personally think mailing our licenses is more risk than in-house printing too but I'm out of characters. :) haha).

  • oleguy Oct 10, 9:23 a.m.

    We are complaining about the service,, We need to address the DMV itself,, Why have it,, Its just another Tax, only the law abiding use it,, and there is no real punishment to the ones that ignore it...

  • kb2iys2 Oct 10, 9:19 a.m.

    The Smithfield License Plate Agency rocks, and has always rocked! The first time I used the office - about 17 years ago - I was amazed at the efficiency and warmness of those who waited on me. Now 17 years later, I'm no longer amazed as I expect great service and they deliver.

    The Clayton Driver License Agency, well that's another story all together.

  • blahblahblah Oct 10, 9:01 a.m.

    They want to improve customer service? Teach the staff basic, common courtesy. It would be nice to hear good morning, how can I help you, thank you or have a nice day. Not just the normal bellow of "next". Or like the lovely lady at the Wake Forest Rd. location, she just uses her wooden pointer to point at the next person in line. Makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy getting that stick pointed at you.

  • maxcadman Oct 10, 8:54 a.m.

    you have to wait when you go to most places, doctor, buy a car, hospital, ER. what is the big deal about a wait plan you day accordingly and take off work, thats what every one else does...folks coming in from other states say this is a great experience for the most part. other states charge to take the test and the wait times are hours......

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