DMV wants to expand registration by car dealers, smog stations and the Internet |

DMV wants to expand registration by car dealers, smog stations and the Internet

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol bureau

The Department of Motor Vehicles wants money to help expand the public’s ability to register cars at smog stations, car dealerships and through the Internet.

DMV Director Ginny Lewis told the Interim Finance Committee on Monday 13 percent of vehicle registrations came through the Internet last month, and every registration is one less person who had to go to a DMV office.

She said nearly 500,000 people went to a DMV office last year who didn’t need to because they could have registered some other way. She said the goal of her proposed advertising campaign combined with expanding opportunities to register electronically and through smog stations is to reduce the crowding at DMV offices.

“We have to get a half-million customers out of the office,” she said.

She asked lawmakers for $150,000 for a public awareness campaign in Washoe and Clark counties that gets people to register their car or truck using the Internet.

“Once they use the Web, they’re sold, so our task is to drive customers to the Web,” she said.

She also asked for $50,000 to install a pilot kiosk in one of the Las Vegas offices that can take either cash or credit cards to handle a simple registration.

That, Lewis said, is aimed at a large group of Nevada customers who prefer to pay their way in cash. Those customers are forced to go to DMV to register their vehicle each year because there’s no other way for them to do it.

“It’s the gaming industry,” she told lawmakers. “These people live on cash. They don’t have checking accounts. They don’t have credit cards.”

She said the kiosk will test the ATM-like system to see how popular it is.

In addition, Lewis asked for $250,000 to expand the ability of smog testing stations in Washoe and Clark counties to register vehicles on the spot. There are already two stations in Reno and one in Las Vegas that can register a vehicle after smog testing it. She said there are 400 such stations in the state and, if even half could also register a car, it would greatly reduce the number of people who had to go to DMV for their registration tags each year.

She said she is working with car dealers to set up a system where they could register a car for some one electronically when they sell that person the vehicle. That too, she said, has been tested in a pilot program involving one Las Vegas car dealer and a motorcycle dealership.

The Interim Finance Committee approved the proposals contingent on how much money is available in DMV’s credit-card reserve account to help cover the cost.