Brad Simpson

March 2016

Q&A with The Utah DMV Director

Brad Simpson has been the director of Utah’s Department of Motor Vehicles since 2002, and he was the winner of AAMVA’s 2015 Chair’s Award of Excellence.

What did you do prior to becoming director of the Utah DMV, and what was your proudest accomplishment in that field?

I worked in Utah’s auditing division for 12 years, and then as deputy director for the division for another five years. I was working on oil and gas revenues for the state of Utah and the Department of the Interior (DOI), and I had to rewrite the oil and gas regulations on how to share revenues with the states. I was asked by the Western Governors’ Association to represent them and the Western states on a three-year project to make sure the states received proper payments. Working with the DOI was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I felt like we accomplished a lot and made it fair for everybody to share the royalties.

What eventually led you to the DMV?

I always wanted to serve the citizens of Utah, but I also wanted to run a large organization where I could make a difference. Where else do you see the public more than at the DMV? The majority of citizens interact with us at least once a year. I think we’ve made great strides, and I hope to continue to serve the public with excellent service.

As director of the Utah DMV, you’ve overseen the implementation of many projects. Of which projects are you most proud?

The Vehicle and Dealer Registration System (VADRS), which allows many DMV tasks to be done online, has been one of the highlights of my career. It was a 15-month project that we completed on time and on budget, and we were honored with the Utah Governor’s Award for Excellence for Innovation and Efficiency in 2014.

Another project was On the Spot (OTS). We reached out to all of the private emission and safety stations within our state and asked if they would renew yearly vehicle registrations at the same time citizens were completing their safety and emission inspections. We currently have 712 private partners doing about 43 percent of vehicle renewals. That makes it so about half of our citizens never need to come into a DMV office when they need a vehicle renewal. 

What are your future goals as DMV director?

I think paperless is the future, and we need to develop and encourage more usage of electronic services. People expect things to be more convenient, and we’re committed to making that happen in Utah. In the future, we don’t want to build brick-and-mortar buildings because we should be doing everything from home on our computers.

You have served on AAMVA’s Region IV Board for the last five years and as the treasurer for the International Board of Directors for three of those years. What was the best part about working with AAMVA?

I think the best thing over the past five years is that I’ve met so many good people, and it truly is like a family. AAMVA is an organization that’s committed to the safety of our highways and also attempts to make sure our citizens across the United States and in Canada have an excellent experience with the motor vehicle offices. It has been a pleasure meeting and working with very knowledgeable leaders in the motor vehicle world and sharing ideas with fellow jurisdictions.

Last August you won AAMVA’s Chair’s Award of Excellence and Achievement for your work with AAMVA—what does that mean to you?

First of all, it was a shock—I had no idea. I’ll always remember this award as a highlight of my career because it’s from my peers, and I’m amazed they think I did enough to deserve it. It’s always special when your peers recognize you. It was a great honor.

Any hobbies?

In the winter, I like to go snowmobiling and skiing a lot. In the summer, I like to ride ATVs, go fishing or camping, ride my horses, or go golfing. I love to do anything outdoors, which is why anyone who knows me well is surprised I have an office job.