Government of the District of Columbia
Department of Motor Vehicles
Fiscal Year 2023 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
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
3:00 p.m. – Virtual Meeting Platform
Good afternoon, 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, on behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser, I would like to thank our customers, Chairperson Cheh, this Committee, and the rest of the Council for your support. I also want to congratulate the Mayor and her Administration for their extraordinary leadership, particularly through the public health emergency and ReOpen DC as the District has navigated through the worst public health crisis in more than 100 years. Additionally, I want to extend a special thank you to all my colleagues at DMV for their extraordinary dedication and hard work. As the agency has transitioned from “appointment only” to walk-in service, Team DMV has helped the agency return to “business as usual,” and they continue to provide outstanding customer service to District residents.
I am pleased to provide testimony on Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2023 proposed budget, “A Fair Shot”; the District’s 27th 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 FY23 proposed budget supports DMV’s mission to promote the safe operation of motor vehicles and public safety while providing outstanding customer service. During FY21, DMV provided service to more than 561,000 licensed drivers and identification cardholders and more than 298,000 registered vehicle owners at four service centers. Additionally, we provided adjudication services, including conducting more than 160,000 in-person, mail, and virtual hearings. DMV collected ticket payments for more than 2.2 million tickets issued. We also conducted more than 170,000 annual vehicle inspections. DMV interacts with District residents and non-residents, with an average of 3,200 daily customer contacts, which is almost more than any other District government agency.
Throughout the public health emergency, DMV continued to serve District residents through our online services, an enhanced DMV mobile app, and in-person appointments at our service centers. Appointment-only service was available from June 2020 through July 2021. During that 13-month period, the agency released 256,857 appointments for individuals requiring in-person services before transitioning back to walk-in service on July 19, 2021. Our Inspections Station has remained fully operational since June 2020 and continues to service residents on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Let me now briefly describe DMV’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. DMV’s FY23 proposed budget is $55,008,875, which represents a 12.5 percent increase from the FY22 approved budget of $48,889,159. The proposed budget is composed of $45,549,425 in Local funds, $129,500 in Federal Grant funds, and $9,329,950 in Special Purpose Revenue funds.
I would like to highlight some of the FY23 budget investments proposed by the Mayor to benefit District residents and our dedicated DMV employees. These enhancement funds will support:
- Help Desk employees for the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). The system allows the DMV to verify information instantly and reliably on a paper title by comparing it to electronic data submitted by the jurisdiction that issued the title to ensure that we are not titling and registering stolen vehicles.
- Additional employees to staff critical vacant positions to improve the agency’s operations, reduce wait times for road testing appointments, streamline CDL licensing, and more.
- Mobile app development featuring several new transactions, including CDL Human Trafficking Awareness training, provisional license conversion, change of address request, and private vehicle sale request.
- Pay parity for our front-line employees who interact directly with the public.
- Two new self-service on-board diagnostic emissions kiosks to offer broader geographic convenience options for vehicle re-inspections, including East of the River.
- Support for the newly created Office of the Deputy Director, including a Management Analyst who will also serve as the agency’s Vision Zero Coordinator.
- Additional IT support to manage the technical components for the agency’s largest contract - eTIMS.
- Capital project to modernize ticket processing system.
In closing, the resources allocated to the Department of Motor Vehicles will play a critical role in helping the agency to continue to provide outstanding service to District residents and all DMV customers. 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.