Records for safe keeping
Last year, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (VA DMV) began using content management software to manage its growing number of electronic documents. The system has improved productivity, security and customer service while decreasing costs for the agency.
For many years, the VA DMV had been storing between 8 million and 10 million documents annually on microfilm, keeping them from eight to 23 years. The storage media presented a number of problems for the agency, including difficulty retrieving documents and discarding old records. “We had never been able to effectively deal with the volume of documents we need to store,” says Theresa Gonyo, director of data services. “Now we’re facing legislation [The Real ID Act] which tightens security standards for state driver’s licenses and identification documents and will require citizens to show additional proof of identity. This means we will need to process and store a larger volume of documents. We wanted document imaging so that we could scan work directly into the automated system from our 73 customer service centers and 1,106 online dealer centers, rather than having the documents shipped to headquarters.”
VA DMV purchased OnBase by Cleveland, Ohio-based Hyland Software and contracted with Orlando, Fla.-based Information Access Systems to install it in phases. The software includes document imaging and management, enterprise report management, and workflow management.
The VA DMV installed several scanners at its headquarters in Richmond for clerks to begin scanning all automobile title applications, driver’s license applications, conviction reports, accident reports and other documents from VA DMV’s customer service centers. Once the papers are scanned, clerks type key information — such as license, accident and conviction numbers — into the department’s mainframe. The scanned records are indexed and appear automatically. Then the clerk clicks on a link (e.g. a driver’s license number) and retrieves the documents.
The first phase was rolled out to about 100 users at the VA DMV headquarters in July 2005. By the end of this year, approximately 1,800 users, including those at remote locations, will be able to scan documents into the system and retrieve records.
Currently, the agency is converting all documents from paper to electronic files by scanning archives into the system. It also is working with dealers, who currently can complete titling online, to scan and send electronic documents directly to the VA DMV.
By making documents more accessible and reducing the amount of time spent processing them, the VA DMV is operating more efficiently and improving customer service. Clerks can now print, e-mail or fax records directly from the system, significantly decreasing response times for records requests. To complement security, VA DMV maintains logs of who has viewed or printed documents. “Without leaving their desks, employees can retrieve and print documents and, unlike microfilm, the documents are always legible,” Gonyo says. “Not only will this help us reach our customer service goals, but we expect savings in shipping alone during the first year to total approximately $500,000.”