stacy-stanton-btw tall

december 2012

Move catches up with Stacey Stanton, the new chairwoman of the AAMVA board.  

What was your first brush with AAMVA?

I first became aware of AAMVA when I was a member of the County Auto License Function in Arizona. Some of my colleagues on the Department of Transportation team started talking about AAMVA. I was like, what is AAMVA? I was able to go to a conference on the East Coast in Virginia. That was my first exposure to AAMVA, and it was terrific. The individuals I got to meet and network with and the subjects that were discussed were things that were immediately relevant to my everyday life, even though I wasn’t within a state DOT system. It was like having a bite of candy. You want more. I transitioned over to the state side of business and AAMVA quickly became a way of life for me. It didn’t matter whether I was in customer service as an administrator or in policy doing legislation; AAMVA was relevant to every day of my professional life.

When did you get involved?

My involvement really started probably in 2000. I had just given birth to my daughter, Alexandra, and her first conference was in Minneapolis when she was three months old. She quickly became the AAMVA mascot. She traveled everywhere and had a great time. While she was enjoying the sights and scenes, I was enjoying the opportunities to engage with the partners from our jurisdictions, partners from industry and the AAMVA team. It’s since been a day-to-day engagement with AAMVA. It doesn’t matter what I need or what my colleagues need. We reach out to the AAMVA team and they provide what I need, or our industry partners supply the information. The value that comes from jurisdictional sharing—you can’t equivocate it.

How would you describe the sense of community at AAMVA?

The sense of community can’t be beat. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. It is a constant community. We may move on within our professional lives. We may move to different agencies, from state to private sector. None of that matters because the engagement is so fresh, and it’s kind of like greeting an old friend. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen somebody. It’s the hugs and it’s the welcome and the sense of camaraderie. It’s more than community; it’s a family. And it’s a family that is there through thick and thin.

How do you see the future of AAMVA?

n North Carolina [where I was sworn in as chairwoman on Aug. 22], I talked about the 80 years of transformation at AAMVA. I think that’s key for all of the jurisdictions, for everyone engaged in AAMVA. Our business has morphed so many times over the decades. There is very little predictability in terms of our day-to-day. There are days when it’s difficult to tell what it’s going to look like tomorrow. That’s an experience that most jurisdictions engage in. We have to be able to transform. We have to be fluid, and I think we’ve proven we can do that.

What are some of your goals as chairwoman?

My goal is to really focus on transformation and helping AAMVA, and having the board help and the community help to position us to be prepared for the next decade. We have so many exciting things that we’re working on. We are working on NMVTIS with the Department of Justice. That’s an exciting opportunity. That has to be sustainable, so we’ve got a very big challenge there. It’s a system that is necessary for states and for our law enforcement partners. AAMVA is the operator.

Then, CDLIS modernization: Arizona recently became the 30th state to engage in modernization. Good news, but we still have 20 more jurisdictions that need to follow and become modernized. We have to ask what are the next steps with CDLIS, because we know that a modernization is only good for a certain period of time. So, positioning ourselves to be prepared for the next modernization is a major goal.

Any other issues you hope to tackle?

Yes. State to State is one. Former chairman Mike Robertson did a yeoman’s job really engaging in those discussions and driving the contract toward conclusion. We will be executing the contract soon. So State to State and the rollout is going to be just tremendous. And e-titling—the idea of vehicle life cycle administration. That has been kind of a dream out there for a number of us for years. We now have a working group that is engaged with jurisdictions, with industry partners, with federal partners. Eventually that group is going to give us the base to make electronic transmissions and make things all the more transparent. When we have a resident from Michigan coming to Arizona, hopefully I won’t have to reach out to that customer. They will have an Arizona transfer without coming into our office. I think it really reflects the nature of day-to-day life: There isn’t much time for face-to-face opportunity. So, what can we handle electronically? What do we need to maintain as a brick and mortar base within our business? Those are questions the jurisdictions need to answer.