rick holcomblarge

november 2015


It has been a busy few months for Richard D. Holcomb, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, who took over as Chair of the AAMVA Board of Directors at the end of August. We caught up with him while he was in Virginia at the Combined Standing Committees Meeting to get a snapshot of what he’s been up to.

Holcomb hit the ground running as Chair, starting with a visit to AAMVA headquarters to get better acquainted with the staff. “I got to meet all the fabulous staff and thank them for all they do, and sort of talk about my vision, sort of talk about what we all as a team hope to accomplish,” says Holcomb. “It’s wonderful. I have a whole new appreciation for all that the AAMVA staff does every day for us. “

He then returned the favor, welcoming AAMVA staff, many who are Virginia residents and customers at the Virginia DMV, to visit a local branch of the DMV for a behind-the-scenes tour. “We are setting up a ‘day in the life of a DMV’ and are giving people the opportunity to visit the DMV for a day and see what we do on our side of the counter,” he says.  “Let the AAMVA staff know how important everything they do every single day is to helping us do the job that we need to do.”

Up next, Chair Holcomb joined AAMVA President and CEO Anne Ferro for a trip to Vermont to attend an IRP Board Meeting, followed by a visit to Edmonton, Alberta to visit with one of AAMVA’s Canadian member jurisdictions. Holcomb and Ferro met with Service Alberta to talk about the benefits of AAMVA and the networking opportunities that AAMVA meetings provide. They also met with the new Deputy Minister and had “a great two days. We talked about a lot of substantive issues and made the pitch on why AAMVA is so important,” he says. “What I love is going to these jurisdictions and sharing ideas. I don’t leave an AAMVA meeting where I don’t leave with ideas that I’m taking back.”

Holcomb then travelled back to his home state of Virginia to join the Combined Standing Committees meeting in Reston, Virginia, as they worked on planning the 2016 AAMVA Spring Workshop and Law Institute. “This is where the heavy lifting happens. These wonderful people from across North America give up their time to come to Virginia and be a part of these meetings for two days. It’s just a joy to behold to watch all the great ideas being fostered here and the back-and-forth debate.”

This month, Holcomb was off to Oak Brook, Illinois for the Region III Information Exchange, and coming up in the next few weeks, he’ll be heading to Ottawa for the CCMTA Board meeting. Then our busy chair will be at the Region II and Region IV Planning Meetings in December. Holcomb says AAMVA’s previous Chair of the Board, Mark Lowe, Director of the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division, gave him some good advice. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and just take your time and enjoy it. See new places, visit with new people who are all committed to doing the best they can for our customers.”