April 6, 2007 By News Report
The number of Michigan customers choosing Self-Service Stations to renew their license plate tabs has more than doubled in the second year since Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land first announced them in March 2005, confirming their popularity with motorists.
The stations, which are similar to cash machines, logged almost 30,000 transactions and $3 million in revenue in their first 12 months. Since then, the stations have become even more popular, racking up more than 75,000 transactions totaling $7.5 million in revenue in the second year. Since their inception, there have been more than 105,000 transactions and $10.6 million in revenue.
"Today's consumers expect service when it's convenient for them, not when it's convenient for state government," Land said. "Self-Service Stations offer that convenience to Michigan motorists as one more easy way to renew your license plate tabs. They're as simple as 'Scan. Pay. Go!'"
Many of the stations are accessible day and night with two already operating outside of a branch office at city halls. The added convenience of the stations also benefits branch office staff because they have more time to help customers with more complex service needs.
The stand-alone stations feature simple touch-screen instructions, dispense new license tabs in just moments and accept Discover, Visa and MasterCard branded debit and credit cards. Customers simply scan the bar code on a renewal notice with their correct name, address, vehicle information and personal identification number before paying.
Customers still can renew their tabs online, by phone or mail, or from a branch office customer service representative.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.