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DC DMV Testimony before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Government of the District of Columbia
Department of Motor Vehicles

Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Oversight Hearing

Testimony of Gabriel Robinson, Director
Department of Motor Vehicles

Before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment
Mary Cheh, Chairman
Council of the District of Columbia

Thursday, June 17, 2021
3:00 p.m. – Virtual Meeting Platform

Good morning, Chairman Cheh, members of the Committee, and Committee staff. I am Gabriel Robinson, Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and today I am joined by the Department’s Agency Fiscal Officer Ronald Pleasant.

Before I begin my testimony, I would like to thank our customers, Chairperson Cheh, this Committee, and the rest of the Council for your support, on behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser. I also want to congratulate the Mayor and her Administration for their extraordinary leadership in helping the District navigate through the worst public health crises in more than 100 years.  I would also like to extend a special thank you to all my colleagues at DMV for their extraordinary dedication and hard work, particularly over the past 14 months. I look forward to welcoming many of my colleagues back as they return to work over the coming days and weeks, allowing the agency to increase our operating capacity and better serve our customers.

I am pleased to provide testimony on Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2022 proposed budget, “A Fair Shot,” the District’s 26th consecutive balanced budget. With this budget, Mayor Bowser is continuing to strategically invest in District residents with the priorities of: increasing access to affordable housing, creating a safer, stronger DC, expanding the reach of Health and Human Services, accelerating achievements in education, ensuring access to job and economic opportunities, investing in transportation and the environment, and improving infrastructure and community spaces.

The Mayor’s FY22 proposed Budget continues to support DMV’s mission to promote the safe operation of motor vehicles and public safety while providing outstanding customer service.  During FY20, DMV provided service to over 581,000 licensed drivers/identification card holders and over 301,000 registered vehicle owners at four service centers. Additionally, we provided adjudication services, including conducting over 320,000 in-person, mail, and virtual hearings, and DMV collected ticket payments for more than 2.2 million tickets issued. We also conducted over 135,000 annual vehicle inspections. DMV interacts with District residents and non-residents, with an average of 3,000 daily customer contacts - more than almost any other District government agency. Since the public health emergency, DMV has been able to continue to serve District residents through our online services, the enhance DMV mobile app, and in-person appointments at our service centers. Our Inspections Station has remained fully operational since June 2020 and continues to service residents on a first come, first serve basis. For months, we have released up to 6,000 new appointments per week at our service centers through our online scheduler and I’m excited to say that number will increase to 10,000 per week this month as more DMV employees return to work.

Let me now briefly describe DMV’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. DMV’s FY22 proposed budget is $48,891,182, which represents an 1.2 percent increase from the FY21 approved budget of $48,316,974. The proposed budget is composed of $38,964,915 in Local Funds, $329,500 in Federal Grant funds, $8,986,450 in Special Purpose Revenue funds, and $608,295 in Intra-District funds.

There are two primary changes to our FY22 budget. First, the FY22 increase in Local funds represents one-time enhancements to offset reduced special purpose resources available to the agency in FY22. The second change is the inclusion of $329,500 Federal Commercial Driver License (CDL) grant.

In closing, the resources allocated to the Department of Motor Vehicles will play a critical role in supporting residents as they recover from impacts of the pandemic. The Council and this Committee are critical allies in this effort, and we appreciate your work to ensure we operate efficiently and effectively. We look forward to working together to achieve our shared goals and give all residents a fair shot as outlined by the Mayor.

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