Government Technology

The End of the Line for DMVs?


April 26, 2010 By

At Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV)s across the country, the days of waiting in line may be numbered.

That's the goal of an innovative queue system that virtually eliminates the need for customers to physically stand in line. The virtual line management system, called QLess, lets users input a mobile phone number to hold their place in line and notifies them about wait times, which frees users up to run errands, grab a cup of coffee, etc. Users will receive text message alerts to let them know when it's their turn.

It works similar to the paging devices given out at some restaurants, except customers can use their cell phones and don't need to stay onsite. According to the QLess website, the system has given back customers more than eight years of time standing in line. The system has already been integrated in places such as restaurants, but the public sector is catching on, said Jon Burke, director of marketing and sales for QLess.

This year, QLess was integrated in two independently operated DMV offices in Missouri. Cyril Wrabec, whose company won the award to take over the Independence, Mo., office in December, included the QLess system in his bid, which he said helped the bid stand out. Even though it's still in the early stages and most people don't know the system exists, he said, the advantages are numerous. He can generate reports to target historical peak traffic periods, and adjust staffing patterns accordingly and use the data to see which clerks are the slowest and the fastest, among other things.

The basic QLess package costs $1,000 for the setup per location, and 20 cents per person in line, depending on the volume, Burke said. But as far as the customers are concerned, Wrabec said, the benefit of avoiding the long lines at the DMV is worth the price of implementation.

"If we could get all the major offices in the state to use the system," he said, "we could completely change the public's perception of the DMV."

No More Traffic Jams

At the DMVs in Johnson County, Kan., customers would wait for up to two and a half hours to register a plate or get an updated decal. And the waiting conditions weren't pretty.

"We wouldn't have enough lobby or chair space, so they ended up sitting on the floor or standing outside," said Amy Meeker-Berg, the county's chief deputy treasurer. "For everybody to be captive and just sit there and wait, it's hard for people -- especially in this environment -- when you have the ability to be more flexible with your schedule."

The county's treasurer's office processes about 118,000 titles and 439,000 renewals each year. On peak days, it can serve over 4,800 customers. But the old manual ticketing system couldn't handle those numbers. It's been in place since 2002, she said, but the system couldn't even produce statistics to estimate volumes at peak times.

In searching for a paging system to alleviate the congestion, the treasurer's office stumbled upon QLess. Since last July, the county has launched the online reservation application, the mobile phone system and the walk-in touchscreen monitors. The treasurer's office has seen more than 2,200 online reservations and 5,700 hits since the new site went live in October, and 22 percent of customers utilize the text messaging feature.

Patiently Waiting

Customers who don't have cell phones can still use on-site kiosks, Burke said, and if customers miss their turns, a simple notification can buy them an extra 15 or more minutes.

"Say you're stuck in traffic and it's your turn, and you're 15 minutes away," Burke said. "You can elect to have more time. It's all customizable."

Other places have been adopting the system to boost efficiency, such as Austin's Town Lake Animal


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Comments

Richard Lewis    |    Commented April 27, 2010

I'll bet that QLESS would work for college lines like FinAid and Admissions too - maybe doctors and hospital waiting rooms? Really neat idea - gotta tell my daughter at grad school.

Richard Lewis    |    Commented April 27, 2010

I'll bet that QLESS would work for college lines like FinAid and Admissions too - maybe doctors and hospital waiting rooms? Really neat idea - gotta tell my daughter at grad school.

Richard Lewis    |    Commented April 27, 2010

I'll bet that QLESS would work for college lines like FinAid and Admissions too - maybe doctors and hospital waiting rooms? Really neat idea - gotta tell my daughter at grad school.

Tim    |    Commented April 27, 2010

Mesa Community College uses QLess not only for Financial Aid and Admissions, but also for Advisement, Registration, and Enrollment. Check out https://orion.mesacc.edu/qless/ to see how they let students enter the virtual line from their web site. QLess is also already installed in doctors' offices.

Tim    |    Commented April 27, 2010

Mesa Community College uses QLess not only for Financial Aid and Admissions, but also for Advisement, Registration, and Enrollment. Check out https://orion.mesacc.edu/qless/ to see how they let students enter the virtual line from their web site. QLess is also already installed in doctors' offices.

Tim    |    Commented April 27, 2010

Mesa Community College uses QLess not only for Financial Aid and Admissions, but also for Advisement, Registration, and Enrollment. Check out https://orion.mesacc.edu/qless/ to see how they let students enter the virtual line from their web site. QLess is also already installed in doctors' offices.

JoCo15    |    Commented May 2, 2010

This is unnecessary waste of government money. People need to learn some patience, my goodness do we really need this--How sad!

JoCo15    |    Commented May 2, 2010

This is unnecessary waste of government money. People need to learn some patience, my goodness do we really need this--How sad!

JoCo15    |    Commented May 2, 2010

This is unnecessary waste of government money. People need to learn some patience, my goodness do we really need this--How sad!

Anonymous    |    Commented May 14, 2010

You should also check our NetPage Unlimited by LRS. This system does queuing, and allows you to contact people via phones and onsite pagers, for those who do not have or wish to give out thier phone numbers. It is less expensive as well. Check them out at www.pager.net

Anonymous    |    Commented May 14, 2010

You should also check our NetPage Unlimited by LRS. This system does queuing, and allows you to contact people via phones and onsite pagers, for those who do not have or wish to give out thier phone numbers. It is less expensive as well. Check them out at www.pager.net

Anonymous    |    Commented May 14, 2010

You should also check our NetPage Unlimited by LRS. This system does queuing, and allows you to contact people via phones and onsite pagers, for those who do not have or wish to give out thier phone numbers. It is less expensive as well. Check them out at www.pager.net

Anonymous    |    Commented May 19, 2010

Patience is not the issue here, JoCo15. It's about efficiency. Why would you sit around the DMV when you can be getting other things done. This is a great idea, because it allows people to minimize the time away from work, and keeps them from being subjected to crowded lobbies and sitting on the floor/outside. Waiting 3 hours is a waste of my day when I could be at work or doing other things. This is a great investment, well-spent tax dollars!

Anonymous    |    Commented May 19, 2010

Patience is not the issue here, JoCo15. It's about efficiency. Why would you sit around the DMV when you can be getting other things done. This is a great idea, because it allows people to minimize the time away from work, and keeps them from being subjected to crowded lobbies and sitting on the floor/outside. Waiting 3 hours is a waste of my day when I could be at work or doing other things. This is a great investment, well-spent tax dollars!

Anonymous    |    Commented May 19, 2010

Patience is not the issue here, JoCo15. It's about efficiency. Why would you sit around the DMV when you can be getting other things done. This is a great idea, because it allows people to minimize the time away from work, and keeps them from being subjected to crowded lobbies and sitting on the floor/outside. Waiting 3 hours is a waste of my day when I could be at work or doing other things. This is a great investment, well-spent tax dollars!

Jaime    |    Commented June 30, 2010

I just used the Qless system this morning. Luckily, one of my coworkers mentioned it last night so I was able to use it today. It is AWESOME! I loved it and think it is an excellent idea. Of course, you still have to be cognizant of where you are at all times because all times are approximate. I signed in when it said there was still 46 min of wait time and there ended up being only about 30. If the line goes faster or slower, you need to be ready when you get the text that you're within 15 min of the front of the line. Still love it.

Jaime    |    Commented June 30, 2010

I just used the Qless system this morning. Luckily, one of my coworkers mentioned it last night so I was able to use it today. It is AWESOME! I loved it and think it is an excellent idea. Of course, you still have to be cognizant of where you are at all times because all times are approximate. I signed in when it said there was still 46 min of wait time and there ended up being only about 30. If the line goes faster or slower, you need to be ready when you get the text that you're within 15 min of the front of the line. Still love it.

Jaime    |    Commented June 30, 2010

I just used the Qless system this morning. Luckily, one of my coworkers mentioned it last night so I was able to use it today. It is AWESOME! I loved it and think it is an excellent idea. Of course, you still have to be cognizant of where you are at all times because all times are approximate. I signed in when it said there was still 46 min of wait time and there ended up being only about 30. If the line goes faster or slower, you need to be ready when you get the text that you're within 15 min of the front of the line. Still love it.

Anonymous    |    Commented August 7, 2010

I would help a lot if you could get in the Q online.

Anonymous    |    Commented August 7, 2010

I would help a lot if you could get in the Q online.

Anonymous    |    Commented August 7, 2010

I would help a lot if you could get in the Q online.

Anonymous    |    Commented August 16, 2010

You can get in line via the web. Just go to http://treasurer.jocogov.org/ and look towards the upper right for "Get In Line at DMV" ... then click on either the Mission or Olathe link.

Anonymous    |    Commented August 16, 2010

You can get in line via the web. Just go to http://treasurer.jocogov.org/ and look towards the upper right for "Get In Line at DMV" ... then click on either the Mission or Olathe link.

Anonymous    |    Commented August 16, 2010

You can get in line via the web. Just go to http://treasurer.jocogov.org/ and look towards the upper right for "Get In Line at DMV" ... then click on either the Mission or Olathe link.

bobd    |    Commented August 24, 2010

it's a cute little idea but nothing beats a Qmatic system for reporting and flow management.

bobd    |    Commented August 24, 2010

it's a cute little idea but nothing beats a Qmatic system for reporting and flow management.

bobd    |    Commented August 24, 2010

it's a cute little idea but nothing beats a Qmatic system for reporting and flow management.

Brandon    |    Commented August 28, 2010

Sure is a great idea. We developed a solution call Mobile Matratee which works great for restaurants, colleges and health care facilities as well as a DMV. Unlike a "pager" company we are a mobile technology company, check us out at http://blog.socialmobiletrends.com or http://www.mobilematradee.com


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