Governor Pat McCrory formally opened the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ new flagship state-of-the art office yesterday in Huntersville and highlighted improved DMV customer service across the state. As part of those changes the governor also announced that, starting today, most newcomers to the state will no longer have to take a written test to obtain a North Carolina driver license.
“This change is another way NCDMV is driving change, working hard to reduce wait times and help our citizens conduct business more efficiently,” said Governor McCrory. “From electronic kiosks to friendly greeters, the new Huntersville office is a model of our new customer focus.”
With the elimination of the written test, newcomers and North Carolina residents only have to present a valid driver license that has been expired less than two years, and take the eye test and road sign test to apply for a license. The change is expected to dramatically cut the time many have to spend in the DMV office. First-time drivers and applicants whose licenses have been expired more than two years will continue to be required to take the written test.
NCDMV piloted numerous changes during the past year based on a “Voice of the Customer” study aimed at improving customer service, efficiency and technology, and eliminating bureaucracy.
- Extended Hours: Expanded standard office hours to stay open later during the week and half-days on Saturdays; participating offices have already served 41,250 customers on Saturday’s alone in the first year;
- Reduced-Wait-Time Pilot: Eight locations have participated in the program, testing various time-saving measures and customer service amenities which have shortened wait times by more than 83 percent at the North Raleigh and Cary offices;
- Wait-Time Reduction Greeter: A font-desk greeter meets customers, answers questions and helps make sure customers have the right paperwork as soon as they walk in the door; and
- Self-Serve Kiosk Pilot: A self-service kiosk helps customers access the documents needed for licenses, ID cards and vehicle registrations, reducing unnecessary trips to DMV and eliminating wait time for services.
“I’m proud of our team’s hard work and dedication to improve the customer experience online and in our NCDMV offices statewide,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. “The changes so far are just the begging of our efforts to better serve North Carolinians and operate more efficiently.”
NCDMV launched an intensive customer service training program for employees through a partnership with Wake Tech Community College, and introduced a new, user-friendly design for its website to make it easier for customers to access information on mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets. NCDMV also now offers qualifying veterans driver licenses and ID cards with a special veterans designation to make it easier for them to receive benefits.
NCDMV is driving additional change in the months ahead including:
- Online renewals of driver licenses every other cycle;
- A new “My DMV” portal that gives customers access to personal information such as vehicle registration using their own DMV account;
- ATM-style kiosks in local grocery stores and shopping malls to allow for more convenient renewal and replacement of driver licenses or ID cards;
- A more reliable mobile office solution using new technology and four-wheel drive capabilities to better serve rural communities;
- The acceptance of credit/debit cards at DMV offices by 2015; and
- The redesign of the state’s driver licenses and ID cards to be more secure and durable.
The New Huntersville Office
In addition to the newly piloted changes, the Huntersville office offers multiple services in a single location so customers do not have to travel to different places to conduct all of their NCDMV business. Services include driver license and ID card issuances, vehicle registration and titling services, administrative hearings, and License and Theft Bureau inspections and services. It also provides offices for Troop H of the N.C. State Highway Patrol. Calls that would previously be answered by examiners are now forwarded to a customer call center to reduce wait times.
In a special partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the Huntersville office is exhibiting rotating displays of artwork on loan from students in the community.