innovatingsafety tall

August 2012

It’s been 80 years since AAMVA opened its doors as a trade association representing the motor vehicle and law enforcement community. Back in 1933, the year of AAMVA’s founding, things were different than they are today. There was no Internet, no cable television and no smartphones. It would have cost you $445 to buy a brand new Plymouth 6 automobile. It would be three years yet before the precursor of this magazine, a newsletter called the AAMVA Bulletin, would even be published. Now we have not only MOVE magazine, but also a brand new website and the ability to engage and communicate through our social media channels—Facebook, Twitter and our YouTube channel.

It’s a different era and I can’t help but think that the pace of change has been steadily increasing these last few years. But don’t worry—AAMVA will always be here to help you keep up.

For 80 years now, the people who make up the AAMVA community have been working together to keep drivers safe on the roads and to help make the difficult job of motor vehicle administration just a little bit smoother.

In those early days, AAMVA worked to improve vehicle headlights and created the standard for headlights. Just a few years later, AAMVA focused on the safety aspect of the 55 mph speed limit and engaged in a discussion on speed in the post-war years. In the 1950’s, AAMVA took active steps to make the standard size license plate a reality. AAMVA’s legacy of highway safety is at the heart of these early innovations—innovations that today are so ingrained in our daily lives that we may take them for granted. But it took the hard work of AAMVA members like you to make them a reality.

Just as we adapted to new challenges in the early days, AAMVA has changed and grown to meet the new world in which we now live. Our community found itself in brand new territory in the days following the attacks on 9/11. Now our members are on the frontline of document security, making sure people with state-issued driver’s licenses or IDs really are who they say they are. We’re raising the bar on our DL/ID standards to make sure everyone’s identity remains safe and secure. Our role in national security isn’t the only new frontier we’re facing; we are also making strides to address the vehicles of the future. We’re working on new ways to keep drivers safe behind the wheel and promoting better ways of testing. We’re taking on new customer service challenges to help better serve our communities. Finally, our law enforcement members have new technology to help them more easily identify drivers on the roads.

It’s been 80 years of change for AAMVA, and I can’t even imagine what kind of innovations we’ll see in the next 80. I’m excited to see what’s next, and I hope you are, too. Though the vehicles may have changed, along with the roads and the world around us, AAMVA’s core purpose has remained constant. We are dedicated to three guiding principles: safety, security and service to our members. And we always will be.

Happy trails.

Stacey Stanton

Vice Chair of the Board