Indiana Mobile Branch

August 2016

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles upgrades its mobile units, reducing costs and increasing productivity

Mobile DMV branches meet community members where they want—and need—DMV services, especially during emergencies. Unfortunately, the less efficient a mobile DMV is, the more at risk it is for cost and reliability issues. Knowing this, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles moved away from its inefficient mobile unit in 2015 and implemented a new system that better serves its citizens.

While the old unit was mobile, a big issue was that the equipment was inherently bulky and slow to set up. New technology has solved this problem, says Sarah Adolf, marketing manager at the Indiana BMV. “Before, we had a trailer that had to be pulled to different sites and set up outside. We now have laptops that make traveling with the mobile branch a lot easier and more efficient. Because the equipment is stored in a luggage-sized case and laptop bags, it is easy to transport, set up and tear down quickly, if needed. We also have more modern equipment that makes it [possible] to process transactions in a more timely manner and help more customers.”

The new mobile branch is a fraction of the cost of the old unit, which has allowed the Indiana BMV to deploy two mobile branches and increase productivity and responses to emergencies. For example, the branches have been part of disaster-relief efforts throughout the state, including floods, tornadoes and public health emergencies, says Adolf. “This has been very positive. The overall service we can provide to customers is more in line with what we can offer at an actual branch,” she adds.

Out and About

The mobile branch also is a popular destination at the Indiana State Fair, where the Indiana BMV’s booth has become a fixture. “The 17-day fair provides a wonderful opportunity for our agency to provide customer service to the visitors who travel to the fair from across the state,” Adolf says. “Providing an on-site opportunity to conduct BMV transactions, such as driver’s license renewals and vehicle registrations, and having staff on-site to answer BMV-related questions, provide driver’s manuals and other printed resources, is invaluable.”   

In addition to the state fair and disaster relief, the mobile branch provides Department of Corrections (DOC) offenders with identification prior to their release, and also was used this year to provide BMV services to veterans in need.

These various examples of notable customer service are only a few of the reasons the Indiana BMV will be winning a 2016 AAMVA PACE Award, which honors individuals, teams and organizations who have committed their time and resources to safety and security initiatives, outstanding customer service, and public affairs and consumer educational programs throughout North America.

Jurisdictions that want to implement mobile DMV branches of their own should analyze the needs of their communities and tailor the branches to meet those needs, advises Adolf. “A mobile license branch allows outreach and customer service opportunities that expand beyond the traditional license branch,” she says. “In the past, we have provided feedback to other states, and we are happy to assist other states in what we have found to be a great customer service resource.”