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DC DMV Budget Testimony Before Committee on Transportation and the Environment

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Oversight Hearing

 

Testimony of

Lucinda M. Babers

Director, Department of Motor Vehicles

 

Before the

Committee on Transportation and the Environment

Mary Cheh, Chairman

Council of the District of Columbia

 

 

April 12, 2018

Room 123

John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20004

Good morning, Chairman Cheh, members of the Committee, and Committee staff. I am Lucinda Babers, the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles. I am pleased to testify before you.

Last month, Mayor Bowser presented “A Fair Shot,” the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) Budget and Financial Plan, the District’s 23rd consecutive balanced budget. This budget does more to make Washington, DC a place where people of all backgrounds and in all stages of life are able to live and thrive by making key investments in infrastructure, education, affordable housing, health and human services, economic opportunity, seniors, and public safety. These investments reflect the key priorities identified by District residents at Budget Engagement Forums and telephone town halls held during the budget formulation process.

Prior to all my hearings, I like to extend a special thanks to the men and women in the Department whose dedication and efforts make it possible for us to service the customers of the District. I am delighted to call such dedicated individuals my co-workers and thank them for allowing me to be a part of Team DMV.

The Mayor’s FY19 Budget continues to support our Department’s mission to promote the safe operation of motor vehicles and public safety while providing outstanding customer service. DMV provides service to over 637,000 licensed drivers/identification card holders and 309,000 registered vehicles at four service centers. We provide adjudication services and collect ticket payments for more than 2.6 million tickets each year. We also conduct over 178,000 annual vehicle inspections. DMV interacts with DC residents and non-residents, with an average of 3,200 daily customer contacts, more than almost any other District government agency.

Let me now briefly describe DMV’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. DMV’s FY19 proposed budget is $46,387,199, which represents a 2 percent increase from the FY18 approved budget of $45,487,969. The proposed budget is composed of $30,099,776 in Local funds, $10,080,452 in Special Purpose Revenue funds and $6,206,972 in Intra-District funds.

Our proposed FY19 budget includes the removal of $200,000 in one-time funding for the implementation of automatic voter registration. The $50,000 one-time funding and one FTE for the portal of entry for returning citizens was also removed and then re-added as recurring. The budget also includes a cost-of-living increase, across all funds, of $931,767.

There are two primary changes to our FY19 budget. The first change represents an overall increase of $1.3 million in our fixed costs. This increase, which was partially offset by a decrease in the Department of Public Works parking ticket issuance, represents increased DMV FY18 estimated fixed costs provided by the Department of General Services.

The second change to the budget represents a one-time policy enhancement of $103,303 and one FTE for a pilot chat adjudication initiative. This initiative explores the feasibility of providing customers another option to adjudicate parking and photo enforcement tickets.

Although we did not request additional capital funds in the FY19 budget, we believe we have adequate resources to continue to move forward on our two main capital projects for a new ticket processing system and a new licensing/registration system. We anticipate the request for proposals for these multi-year projects will be put out to bid in spring 2018.

In closing, the resources allocated to the Department of Motor Vehicles will play a critical role in supporting residents’ efforts to reach and remain on the pathway to the middle class. The Council and this Committee are critical allies in this effort, and I appreciate your work to ensure we operate efficiently and effectively. I look forward to our continued work together to achieve our shared goals and give all residents a fair shot to benefit from Washington, DC’s continued prosperity.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I look forward to answering your questions.