Department of Motor Vehicles
GARY J. DeFILIPPO, Commissioner
Anthony D. Portanova, Deputy Commissioner
Willie Ramirez, Deputy Commissioner
Established - 1917
Statutory authority – CGS Title 14
Central office – Rowland State Government Center,
55 West Main Street,
Waterbury, CT 06702
Number of full-time employees – 758
Recurring operating expenses - $89.9 million
Organizational structure - Five Bureaus
To deliver high-quality, innovative services to our customers and to promote highway safety for the public. Our vision is a continuously improving DMV, without walls, without lines and within budget.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a number of major responsibilities which include the following: to perform highway safety functions through enforcement of the statutes regarding motor vehicles and their operation; to issue credentials for motor vehicle operators, their vehicles and for companies involved in vehicle-related businesses; to collect revenue, part of which is allocated for the construction and maintenance of highways; to amass and maintain records on operators, vehicles and revenues, making such available to authorized persons and agencies; and to impose sanctions on those who violate laws and regulations. In this regard, DMV issued more than 149 thousand notices of pending license and/or registration suspensions, two-thirds of which pertained to motorists who had failed to appear in court to satisfy a traffic violation. The Department directs the Administrative Per Se Program in response to the threat posed by operators driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and issued 11 thousand license suspensions this year. In addition, as mandated by the state and federal voter registration statutes, the DMV assisted more than 13 thousand individuals in registering to vote increasing the total to almost 112 thousand registrees, to date. DMV offices have also proven convenient for the public to enroll as anatomical donors.
A major focus for the DMV continues to be the procurement and implementation of a new emissions testing program due to the expiration of the prior contract on June 30, 2002. This project has entailed the collaborative efforts of the DMV, the Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Environmental Protection along with the expertise of independent consultants. This diverse committee carefully evaluated the proposals submitted, and selected a vendor to implement and oversee a new decentralized program utilizing 300 private garages to perform On Board Diagnostic (OBD II) testing for newer vehicles as well as the classic ASM, dynamometer - tailpipe testing for vehicles model year 1996 and older. At the same time, an almost identical process was undertaken for the selection of a separate Emissions Data Management vendor to develop that aspect of the program and provide additional safeguards and information to ensure the integrity of the emissions testing services. The transition to the new program requires a temporary cessation of all testing for a period of time, after which vehicles that were due for testing during this hiatus will be rescheduled. This is not expected to prove burdensome however, because effective July 1, 2002, model year vehicles four years old and newer are exempt from initial emissions inspections.
Another ground-breaking project for the DMV has been the Real-Time-On-Line Registration initiative, the results of which we anticipate will afford eligible Connecticut citizens the opportunity, beginning in mid-October 2002, to renew their automobile registrations from the comfort of their homes via the Internet. In addition, this project will re-engineer most of the agency’s information systems which are in need. When this project is completed, we expect that the Registration, Title, Operator Control/Driver History and many of their related subordinate systems will have been overhauled and improved.
A third chief initiative for the agency is the launch of a new, state-of-the-art, digitized photo license scheduled for completion in mid-August 2002. Considered essentially tamper-proof, its features include a 2-dimensional bar code for storing pertinent biographical information, a distinctive vertical format for drivers under the age of 21 and a pictorial lighthouse background for driver licenses and covered bridge background for non-driver identification cards. This new product allows the retrieval of previously recorded images for instantaneous comparison and offers the potential for facial recognition, a technique whereby facial measurements are stored, retrieved and matched to the incumbent, thus providing a sophisticated method of refuting potential imposters and insuring the reliability of the credential issued.
DMV is the first major state agency to join the Department of Information and Technology in developing an Internet website within the universal portal established for all state agencies. This involved a complete redesign of the current website, every existing link and included the examination of procedures allowing visitors access to information on the site. Agency staff monitor the site for accuracy and assist in the introduction of information deemed useful to customers. The DMV website address remains the same at, http://dmvct.org, and is visited by as many as 25 thousand customers weekly.
These are but a few examples of very tangible innovations illustrating DMV’s commitment to providing better and more convenient services to its customers.
The agency has all but completed replacing the once standard-issue royal blue license plates with reflectorized safety plates as required by state statute. In addition to the 40 Special Interest Plates currently offered, the agency will introduce a plate to memorialize the national tragedy of September 11, 2001 that contains the logo, “United We Stand” and displays the American and Connecticut State flags. It should be available for purchase by February 2003. Proceeds from its sale will benefit two funds; one created for the education of victims’ children and another established for purchasing equipment designed to impede terrorist attacks.
Construction is underway on a new Bridgeport Branch Office facility and, in cooperation with the Department of Public Works, the agency is pursuing leasing space in the Danbury area for a new branch facility. A recently purchased building in Cheshire is undergoing renovations for use as a training and testing center in connection with the new emissions program.
The Dealer Online Leasing Program enables leasing companies and dealerships to interact directly from their offices, with DMV’s vehicular registration renewal database. This helps to lessen the flow of customers into our branch offices. Over 193 thousand transactions were processed this past year. The amount of money recovered and services obtained for consumers injured by licensees by our Dealers and Repairers Division exceeded $1 million again this year.
Approximately 3,400 cases were referred to the Medical Review Division by law enforcement agencies, physicians and others, because of clients’ actual or perceived mental and/or physical impairments due to age or health problems. For especially difficult evaluations, a Medical Advisory Board comprised of physicians and DMV staff is consulted to determine the appropriateness of withdrawing an individual’s license or reissuing it with restrictions. The DMV performs its role as arbiter in these cases in as effective, conscientious and dignified a manner as possible for its clients.
Technological improvements include the installation of an upgraded phone system and the installation of telecommunications lines throughout the agency network of offices to enhance the transfer of data between agency locations which now number 11 full-service branch offices, three satellite offices (full-service with limited hours) and five photo licensing centers. The agency also maintains two popular photo-licensing buses and two Winnebagos that alternately operate at 15 locations statewide. Photo-licensing services are also available at 15 AAA offices.
Managers recently concluded the Strategic Plan spanning fiscal years 1999 through 2002 and proceeded to establish thirteen initiatives for the new three-year plan commencing on July 1, 2002. The major areas of focus are: increasing customer/stakeholder satisfaction; enhancing public safety and protection; and instructing and supporting agency employees.
The following statistics illustrate the scope of the agency’s activities for residents and the substantial revenues collected for the State of Connecticut:
· Registered motor vehicles in Connecticut - 2.9 million;
· Licensed operators in Connecticut - 2.3 million;
· Revenue collected - $381.4 million during Fiscal Year 2001/2002