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December 2012

How one state increased online license renewal.

In 2010, Texas rebranded its online presence as Texas.gov. In 2011, the site emphasized driver and motor vehicle services, beginning a partnership with the Texas Department of Safety.

An advertising campaign was launched to encourage online adoption of driver-related services and promote the new Texas.gov brand. Only around 10 percent of consumers were renewing their licenses online, says Erin Hutchins, general manager and director of portal operations for Texas.gov.

The state advertised on the radio, online and in print, and a new driver eligibility program in June 2011 prompted “quite a media and public relations push,” Hutchins says.

The promotion campaign proved effective. “We got amazing feedback from the constituency,” Hutchins says, and activity on online applications increased. As a result, the efforts were expanded in 2012 to include television commercials. “They’re smart with a smile,” Hutchins says of the ads. “Our intent is to convey how easy and useful it is [to use online services]—but in a humorous way.” Over the campaign’s past two years, Hutchins says there has been a consistent 20-25 percent year-over-year increase in online adoption.

Texas.gov also worked with the Department of Public Safety to streamline customer service. The use of Interactive Voice Response in the calling system allowed customers to be automatically directed to the proper agency, which Hutchins says reduced call volume by about 10 percent.

The two organizations work together to offer about 15-20 DPS services through Texas.gov. “It’s a long-standing and successful partnership between the two programs,” Hutchins says.

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