Raleigh, N.C. — 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 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.