The Department of Motor Vehicles' electronic "kiosk" in Las Vegas has been so successful, officials are installing 14 of them statewide, including in Carson City.
The kiosks are electronic stations designed to let people with simple tasks like a registration renewal avoid waiting for a DMV employee to help them. Instead, people can take care of their registration - even paying in cash - without waiting in line.
DMV Director Ginny Lewis said one experimental kiosk in Las Vegas is now handling more than 1,000 customers a month with transaction times as low as two minutes.
She received legislative permission Thursday to put up 14 kiosks. And while many of them will be in Las Vegas where the busiest DMV offices are, Reno will receive four and Carson City one.
Lewis also told the Interim Finance Committee that the DMV is expanding the services available at a kiosk to driver's license renewals and other services.
"The goal has been, how much can we get away from the technicians for simple transactions?" she said.
Of the 28,000 transactions at the Las Vegas office in March, 1,000 were handled by the kiosk.
She also received permission to use another $820,000 in highway fund money to pay credit card fees, which she said are becoming a very popular method of payment at the DMV. Their use is up 34 percent this year alone. The problem is, there is no mechanism in Nevada law to pass the fees on when customers use Visa, Mastercard and Discovery cards.
Lewis said the fees will hit nearly $3 million this year, but pointed out allowing the cards for payment is saving the state much more than that since many of those transactions are on the Internet or at the kiosk. She said the same number of DMV transactions were processed online this past year as a full-sized metropolitan office would have handled. The cost of operations at one of those offices alone, she said, would have exceeded $6 million.
Ways and Means Chairman Assemblyman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, questioned whether it is reasonable for the state to continue absorbing the credit fees.
Lewis said she shares that concern and plans to ask lawmakers in 2005 for guidance. She said options could include asking customers to pay part of the cost to sharing it with local governments, which receive the vast majority of the revenue generated by vehicle registrations.
Contact Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or at 687-8750.