Tennessee hopes to cut down DMV wait time with iPad kiosks

People in line at DMV

As detailed within a press release on the official Tennessee government site, the state purchased seventy-two iPads from Apple and have installed the tablets at twenty-six DMV locations across the state. Tennessee residents that have to make a trip to the DMV to replace a driver’s license due to loss or an upcoming expiration can simply use the self-service kiosk to get a new license. The iPad-powered kiosk allows a resident to tap their way through a custom application and pay for the replacement license with a debit or credit card. After making the payment, the new driver license is immediately printed and the resident can get out the door much quicker than a typical DMV visit.

iPad kiosks at the DMVIn addition to replacing or renewing a driver’s license, the iPad application also allows the resident to alter their home address or process a payment for the reinstatement procedure when a resident lose a license due to legal reasons. Tennessee officials are also planning to roll out an update to the application that allows residents to schedule appointments at the DMV. For instance, a new driver could potentially schedule a time for a future road test.

According to Commissioner Bill Gibbons, he stated “Reducing the wait time at driver service centers is one of our top priorities. These self-service iPad stations will cut down on the number of customers waiting for service from a driver license examiner and will help reduce the overall wait time for all customers.”

The total cost for the iPad kiosk installations was $79,200, half likely spent on the iPad hardware and the other half spent on installation, building the design elements of the kiosk as well as the development of the application. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the design of the iPad was ideal for this project due to the size of the tablet, wireless capabilities and the touch-screen keyboard. If the iPad kiosk program is successful at significantly reducing wait times, other states could implement similar technology to help reduce customer frustration while at the DMV.

dmv-in-a-boxNevada has taken this concept a step further and branched out to local supermarkets with the “DMV in a Box” kiosk concept. Installed at several Albertsons supermarkets within Nevada during 2011 and 2012, residents can renew their driver’s license or ID card in addition to printing out driving records and reinstate their vehicle registration if lapsed due to lack of insurance. While the kiosks don’t use iPad tablets, the kiosk can print out a new registration form or license plate decals without having to visit a DMV location. 

Also relevant to Nevada, residents can download an iPad and iPhone application called “DMV Mobile” that allows residents to check wait times before leaving to visit a nearby DMV. The app also offers a map of DMV locations, thus a resident can make a trip to another location with a lower wait time. In addition, residents can check the next available date for a driving test in addition to searching the Nevada database of license plates to check the availability of a personalized plate.

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