Posted: July 12th, 2016
A major issue for the coming year will be the overhaul of the driver’s license program to include the latest enhanced digitized security technology. To cover this increased cost, the DMV is planning to charge $5 more for new drivers’ licenses and license renewals. This charge is not enough to fully cover the cost of the new licenses, but raising fees was a political hot potato during the last session of the state assembly, and the Governor would be reluctant to propose any further increase to that fee.
Another major initiative being planned for the DMV for the coming year is a centralized computer system to verify that all registered vehicles are insured . Once the system is in place, the DMV will be able to check insurance coverage not only when a vehicle is registered, but also when law enforcement officers stop a vehicle, when the vehicle has its biannual safety inspection, and at other times. The system will require an initial capital investment of $3 million, and operating costs of $1.30 per inquiry. It is expected that there will be 1 million uses of the system spread evenly during the coming year. None of the capital investment cost appears as part of the operating budget for the coming year.
To comply with the state’s 2011 Clean Air Act, the auto inspection program must be modified. The DMV has estimated that it will cost $7.2 million to equip the state vehicle testing centers with the necessary equipment for the new, stricter test. None of this cost will be part of the operating budget for the DMV.
During the coming year, the DMV expects to issue more licenses per month early in the year, as drivers try to avoid the extra cost and documentation requirements associated with the new higher security licenses. The DMV expects to issue 923,456 licenses using the old technology spread evenly throughout the first four months of the year, and 843,023 licenses using the new digitized technology spread evenly throughout the last eight months of the year.
There are expected to be 342,587 vision tests, 847,129 written driving tests, and 429,222 road tests in total for the year. These tests are expected to occur in the same proportion as the number of licenses issued each month. It is expected that there will be 962,135 vehicle registrations and 1,106,455 annual vehicle inspections, and these will occur evenly throughout the year. Note that the vehicle inspection number includes re-inspections for vehicles that fail their initial inspection.
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