Pine Valley BMV Connect

May 2018

The Indiana BMV’s new Self-Service Office is a template for the future of motor vehicle customer service.

By Andrew Conner

In late 2016 and early 2017, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) created a strategic plan for the agency. As a result of this plan, one of its major projects of the last year has been upgrading and expanding its BMV Connect system of self-service kiosks, which can handle several transactions and are located at BMV branches across the state.

To implement this project, the Indiana BMV worked with its vendor, Intellectual Technology, Inc. (ITI), to increase the types of transactions that could be completed at BMV Connect kiosks. They also opened a brand-new, self-service BMV Connect Center located in a storefront next to the Pine Valley BMV branch in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This center allows Indiana drivers to perform transactions 24/7.

“We have a lot of customers who don’t have access to a computer or the internet, and this is an extension of our online services, as well as our branch services,” says Holly Sample, director of Branch Operations at the Indiana BMV, and the lead of the task force that handled these BMV upgrades. In addition to offering transactions BMV customers can do online, these kiosks also offer transactions that can only be done at the BMV, such as paying reinstatement fees or printing a driving record.

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The BMV Connect Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, allows Indiana drivers to perform BMV transactions 24/7.

A New Kind of Office

While there are 24-hour kiosks at other branches, there are a few things that make the BMV Connect Center different. Not only does it have four kiosks, but those kiosks are also inside a separate office.

In addition, during work hours an employee mans a desk in the office and is available to help customers with transactions, similar to how grocery stores with self-checkout often have an employee available to help customers with the process.

And the comparison to grocery stores is an apt one: The eventual goal for the BMV Connect Center project is to create similar offices in even more accessible areas, such as in grocery stores.

“We want to be where our customers are and where our customers do business,” says Peter Lacy, commissioner of the Indiana BMV.

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Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (third from the right) helps out at the grand opening of the BMV Connect Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This center is open 24/7, and during work hours an employee is available to help customers with transactions, similar to grocery stores with self-checkout.

Creative Collaboration

To achieve this goal, the BMV and its vendor, ITI, have been building on their relationship that dates back to 1996, when Indiana was among the first adopters of self-service kiosk technology.

“Over the years we’ve had a very close relationship,” says Drew Nicholson, chief operating officer of ITI. “Indiana is a very forward-thinking state, and customer service is everything to them. We share that retail mindset—without good customer service, you don’t eat.”

Lacy explains that they see Nicholson and his team as a true partner that they can bounce ideas off of and create innovative solutions with.

“We have quarterly meetings where we talk about existing business, what’s next and where we can find efficiencies,” says Lacy. “That’s how the collaborative approach of working with Drew and his team has continued. The BMV Connect Center is just the latest example.”