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Niche technologies to play a big part in Real ID

With all of the discussion about Real ID, there's one major thing that drivers are thinking about – painfully long lines at their local DMV office. As currently proposed, every citizen will need to bring a "photo identity document," which documents their birth date, address, and Social Security number. U.S. citizens will have to prove their status and foreigners will have to show a valid visa. State DMVs will have to verify that these identity documents are legitimate, digitize them, and store them permanently. In addition, Social Security numbers must be verified with the Social Security Administration -- a process that can add several minutes to each transaction.

The good news? Technology is poised to save the day (or at least part of it) by reducing some of the wait time.

Currently, citizens wait in line at the front desk, tell the clerk the type of transaction they need to make, receive a number, and proceed to waiting areas. When the next available clerk is able to handle that specific type of transaction, the customer's number is displayed or the citizens named shouted across the waiting room.

With the new, more technologically-advanced queuing systems, much of this process changes. Many citizens can avoid the front desk clerk and use kiosks to identify their transaction type. With additional efficiencies built into today's queuing systems, including backend reporting, reduced wait times are a reality. And queuing systems are just one of many technologies available to the DMV.

Other solutions include the ability to schedule an appointment time for your DMV business using a web-based scheduling application. Some DMVs recently started allowing customers of some large insurance companies to renew their vehicle registrations online. Voice recognition phone systems that tell customers how long they might expect to wait in line are being tested.

Some states that are currently studying ways to improve DMV technology, business processes, and Real ID compliance include:

GovWin's Take

As Real ID becomes, well, more real – expect to see the demand for technologies to decrease customer wait times. Many states have decided not to ignore Real ID requirements and they'll want to gain back some of the customer service improvements they've made over the last several years.

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