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DC DMV Testimony Before Committee on Transportation and the Environment

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Testimony of Lucinda Babers, Director Department of Motor Vehicles


Before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment

Mary Cheh, Chairperson


Thursday, May 1, 2014

11:00 am – Room 123

The Wilson Building

Washington, DC


Good morning Chairman Cheh and staff, I am Lucinda Babers the Director of the District’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). I am pleased to testify before you today on Mayor Gray’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget and confidently share that DMV’s FY 2015 proposed budget fully addresses the agency’s funding needs. To support the continued growth of the District of Columbia, Mayor Gray’s FY 2015 Budget submission focuses on four priorities: (1) continuing improvements in public education; (2) making additional investments in affordable housing; (3) encouraging economic and workforce development; and (4) improving the quality of life for all.  I will also be testifying today on Bill 20-694, the Driver Safety Clarification Amendment Act of 2014.

Prior to all of 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 submitted the Driver Safety Clarification Amendment Act of 2014 to clarify language in the Driver Safety Amendment Act of 2013 related to an undocumented resident’s ability to obtain a Limited Purpose credential.  When we were working on the operational requirements for the Limited Purpose credential, we realized there were undocumented residents who would not be eligible to obtain a credential because they had been previously issued a social security number.  This SSN was issued when the person was in the United States legally on some type of visa status.  Therefore, we submitted Bill 20-694 to indicate a person who currently has a SSN, but would be unable to obtain a SSN at the time of applying for a DC credential, would also be eligible to obtain the Limited Purpose credential.  We would like to thank the Council for passing the emergency and temporary legislation for this Bill and look forward to working with you on the permanent Bill.

The FY15 proposed budget continues to support our Department’s mission to promote public safety by ensuring the safe operation of motor vehicles.  DMV provides service to approximately 541,000 licensed drivers/identification card holders and 291,000 registered vehicles at four service centers.  We provide adjudication services and collect ticket payments for more than 2.5 million tickets each year.  We also conduct over 189,000 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.

DMV has seven divisions comprising our FY15 proposed budget of $45.7 million.  This represents a 6.6% increase from the FY14 budget.  The FY15 proposed budget also increases our FTE level from 259 to 263.  The DMV’s proposed FY15 $45.7 million budget is composed of the following fund amounts:  $28.3 million in local funds which include 216 FTEs, $10.1 million in special purpose revenue funds which include 45 FTEs and $7.2 million in Intra-District funds which includes 2 FTEs. 

To arrive at our FY15 Current Services Funding Level, there were several across the board measures taken.  This included removing a one-time salary lapse of $150,000 which we included in the FY14 budget.  There were additional increases in the amount of $771,359 to account for adjustments due to inflation, cost-of-living and fringe benefits.

The proposed FY15 budget contains various increases and decreases in local funds based on our shifting of funds to meet operational requirements throughout the various divisions.  Approximately $308,000 is included for information technology hardware costs to refresh DMV’s computers and printers.  The local budget also contains an increase of $307,000 for employee step increases.  There is also an additional $241,000 to support the four positions received for the implementation of the Driver Safety Amendment Act.

The proposed FY15 budget contains an overall $666,000 increase in special purpose funds.  This increase is mainly a reflection of a higher inspection station fund revenue projection which enabled $495,000 in information technology and inventory funding.  There is also an increase of $1 million in the Metropolitan Police Department’s intra-district transfer to DMV for ticket processing related to a projected increase in photo enforcement.   Overall, the FY15 proposed DMV budget will allow us to meet our operational responsibilities.

While I have the microphone, I would like to take an opportunity to share with the listening public three major initiatives that were implemented this week.  On Tuesday, April 29th, we opened a fourth service center location in The Shops at Georgetown Park.  This location, which has operating hours of Tuesday – Saturday, 8:15am – 4:00pm, offers the same licensing, identification, titling and vehicle registration services as our other three locations.  However, it is double the size of our previous Georgetown location and is sure to soon be a crowd favorite. 

The opening of a fourth location enabled us to meet the requirements of the Driver Safety Amendment Act of 2013 by offering Limited Purpose credentials, both driver licenses and identification cards, to undocumented residents and United States citizens who have never been issued a social security number.  Our ability to offer a driver license to undocumented residents, in which the license will be marked “not for official federal purposes,” will ensure these drivers have passed our knowledge and road tests; thereby, making our roadways safer.  Also, the Limited Purpose credential, which was implemented today, will only be available by appointment (note as of Tuesday, April 29th, there were 1,198 appointments scheduled).  Additional information about the document requirements and the process is available on our website at

Today we also implemented the REAL ID credential, a federally compliant driver license and identification card that replace our existing credential.  The REAL ID credential will have a star in the upper right corner and will require that we revalidate your identity, social security number and residence. 

Since the document requirements (such as proof of identity, proof of social security number and proof of District residency have changed), it is important residents who are obtaining a first time DC credential, renewing their credential or requesting a duplicate credential (due to your driver license or ID card being lost, stolen or a change of address) refer to our website at prior to your in-person visit.

For those residents with existing DC DMV credentials, you will obtain your REAL ID credential when it is time to renew your driver license or identification card.  At renewal time, you will be required to bring in your documents for revalidation.  Therefore, even if your current credential does not expire until December 2020, like mine does, you will still be able to use your existing credential to enter Federal buildings and board airplanes because DC will be considered a REAL ID compliant jurisdiction. 

We appreciate the support we’ve received from the Council and under your leadership, this Committee and your staff.  We look forward to continuing our efforts to maximize efficiencies to improve the quality of service to the District of Columbia.   It would be our pleasure to respond to any questions you may have.