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DC DMV Testimony before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Government of the District of Columbia
Department of Motor Vehicles

Fiscal Year 2021 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

June 3, 2020
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

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 General Counsel David Glasser and Agency Fiscal Officer Ronald Pleasant.

Before I begin my testimony, I 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 also want to thank the many members of my team who have continued to work through the current health pandemic while juggling numerous responsibilities at home. Additionally, I join my team in mourning the loss of one of our own. DC DMV employee Bob Brown, who recently passed away from complications of coronavirus (COVID-19), was a member of the DMV family for nearly 28 years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob’s family, friends, and co-workers. We understand many of our residents are struggling during these unprecedented times. We also know we are DC Strong, and we will get through this together. Moving forward, DC DMV is committed to strategically utilizing our resources in a manner that will support all residents as they transition through this current public health crises.

I am pleased to provide testimony on Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2021 proposed budget, “A Fair Shot,” the District’s 25th 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.

At this time, I would like to extend a special thank you to my colleagues at DC DMV whose dedication and efforts make it possible for us to service the customers of the District. I am pleased to call such dedicated individuals my teammates, and I truly appreciate the confidence and trust they have placed in me to lead Team DMV.

The Mayor’s FY21 proposed Budget continues to support DMV’s mission to promote the safe operation of motor vehicles and public safety while providing outstanding customer service. DMV provides service to over 631,000 licensed drivers/identification card holders and 307,000 registered vehicles at four service centers. We provide adjudication services and collect ticket payments for more than 2.8 million tickets issued annually, including conducting more than 303,000 in-person and mail hearings. We also conduct over 172,000 annual vehicle inspections.  DMV interacts with DC residents and non-residents, with an average of 3,000 daily customer contacts prior to the current health pandemic, more than almost any other District government agency. When DMV locations reopen to the public, in-person visits will be scheduled by appointment only and customers and employees will be required to wear a mask or facial covering, thus reducing volume and assisting the agency with protecting customers and employees, while maintaining social distancing.

Let me now briefly describe DMV’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. DMV’s FY21 proposed budget is $48,364,953, which represents an 8 percent increase from the FY20 approved budget of $44,766,463. The proposed budget is composed of $37,592,000 in Local Funds, $10,173,000 in Special Purpose Revenue funds, and $600,000 in Intra-District funds.

There are two primary changes to our FY21 budget. First, the FY21 increase in Local funds is attributed to the rightsizing of the ticket processing budget. The second change is the inclusion of $495,000 of Intra-District budget to reflect the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking’s (DISB) anticipated FY21 purchases of insurance services from DMV.

With the FY21 budget, we believe we have adequate resources to continue to move forward on our two main capital projects – “DESTINY” modernization, DMV’s database for real-time driver and vehicle records, and “eTims” modernization, DMV’s database for real-time ticket information. The agency is currently working with OCTO to support infrastructure plans related to DESTINY modernization. DMV recently completed a Business Process Review to secure additional resources for our eTims modernization. Georgetown Technologies Inc. was awarded a contract in February 2020 to support the modernization project by developing a Resource Management Plan, Final Project Plan, Current State Business Process, and a Proposed State Business Process.

In closing, the resources allocated to the Department of Motor Vehicles will play a critical role in supporting residents as they transition over the coming weeks and months. 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 once the Mayor can lift the current Stay-at-Home Order and the District returns to a state of prosperity.

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