KDOR DMV Modernization Project

What is the DMV Modernization Project?

The purpose of the DMV Modernization Project is to replace aging mainframe systems used for driver licensing, motor vehicle titling and registration, and inventory management with a single, modern system that is easier to use, maintain and enhance.

The new Division of Motor Vehicles System will replace the:

  • Kansas Driver’s License System, a mainframe system that has been in use since 1990 to issue and keep track of nearly 2 million driver licenses and identification cards. The system is also used to keep track of driving records, including restrictions, suspensions and revocations.
  • Vehicle Information Processing System, a distributed processing system on a mainframe platform that has been in use since 1987 to register, title and tag roughly 2.7 million vehicles. The system is also used to keep track of liens on vehicles and to calculate and record property and sales taxes.
  • Kansas Vehicle Inventory System, a mainframe application that has been in use since 1993 to order and keep track of tags, decals and other raw materials needed for titling and registering vehicles.

When the old systems are replaced by the new DMV System, it will eliminate the need for manual, paper-driven procedures that were adopted to complete routine tasks when existing technology could not keep pace with changing business processes. Also, since drivers in Kansas tend to be vehicle owners, recording and storing basic customer information in two systems is redundant and ineffective.

Replacing the dated, batch-process based Vehicle Information Processing System with the new DMV System that includes driver licensing means that entities outside of the Kansas Department of Revenue like law enforcement, courts and insurance companies will be able to get accurate, real-time information when they need it.

What is the cost and how are you paying for it?

The Kansas Department of Revenue relies on county treasurers to help it meet its driver licensing and vehicle titling and registration obligation. This collaboration ensures that Kansas drivers and vehicle owners have local access to services that are the responsibility of the state. 

County treasurers and law enforcement were pivotal in securing funding for the $40 million project. Because of their support, the 2008 Kansas Legislature passed statutes 75-5159 and 75-5160 that provide the mechanism and authority to collect a $4 fee at the time vehicles are registered.

The Kansas Department of Revenue and county treasurers view the new DMV System as a behind-the-counter change that will improve how services are delivered to drivers and vehicle owners throughout Kansas.

Who’s responsible for the project?

A project of this magnitude requires several levels of oversight to ensure tasks are handled efficiently and taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

Project management report to a group of executive sponsors whose members are also part of the project’s steering committee. The steering committee plays an important role in the project's direction and development and its members include senior-level staff from the Department of Revenue, elected officials, representatives from law enforcement and the courts, and members of the banking, insurance and vehicle sales industries. 

The project management office oversees three teams of about 40 Kansas Department of Revenue employees. The teams are organizational development, business analysis and technology. Team members have expertise in state and county business processes, the systems being replaced, information technology, computer programming, organizational development, training and communication.

County treasurers have also been instrumental throughout the project by providing input that influenced the system’s design, by helping test it at each stage of development, and by providing leadership and subject matter expertise needed to get front-line workers trained to use it.  

Why will the project take so long?

The request for proposal for a vendor to provide software and integration services was issued in late 2008, a contract was awarded to 3M in 2009, and work on the project officially began in August 2009.

Technical staff from the department and from 3M work on tailoring 3M’s product to fit Kansas’ needs, taking into account state laws and regulations, state and county business processes, and existing interfaces.

Business analysts explore how the new system works to identify how well it fits with known business processes. They provide the real-world perspective needed to identify where the system needs to be adapted and they develop and update business processes for system users.

As each component of the new system is developed it must be tested. Testing is done by 3M, project staff and county treasurers who volunteer to work on the project. Development and testing is ongoing until the new system is fully launched.

To prepare more than 900 state and county workers for the change, a team of trainers develop computer-based training modules to introduce them to the new system. This is followed by two to four days of instructor-led training to give workers their first hands-on experience using the system. To gain more familiarity, workers practice what they learn in training in a safe environment known as the sandbox.

To assess how the new system would impact state offices, a job design team reviewed how they were organized, how employees were classified and how the new system would alter the way they do business. With the job design team’s input, management was able to adjust office structure and job classifications, to redistribute the work load and to better define the skillsets required to perform the work. This allowed state offices to capture all the efficiencies the new DMV System offers.

So it’s more efficient. What else?

It’s true that the new system is more efficient. Behind the counter, it eliminates the need for special coding, it provides continuity for vehicle registration and titling processes statewide, it retains historical customer and vehicle information, and it can accommodate quick changes to ownership information for multiple vehicles owned by the same individual or business.

The new system promises other benefits as well. For instance, entities outside the Kansas Department of Revenue rely on the driver and vehicle information our systems contain. One such entity is the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

The KBI collects vehicle and driver information directly from the Kansas Department of Revenue and makes it available to other law enforcement agencies. This information had been updated through batch jobs once every 24 hours. That means the information is nearly 24 hours old by the time KBI gets access to it. The new system accepts and processes information on a real-time basis. That means the KBI and other law enforcement will have access to nearly real-time information.

The new system also gives law enforcement tools they’ve never had before, like the ability to run partial plates – a few letters or numbers – to find a possible match. This could be done in the old system, but it took hours and sometimes days to create the custom computer programs needed to query the mainframe system. In the new system, results can be returned in seconds. Law enforcement can also use multiple search parameters to narrow possible matches.

For example, a suspect robs a gas station and leaves the scene in a two-door Ford pickup truck with a plate that begins with WVA. A search of the new system using this information will return every registered two-door Ford pickup in the state with plates that begin with those letters, including addresses connected to the registrations and pictures of the owners.

I have a driver’s license and I own a car. How does this affect me?

Aside from the temporary suspension of services while the state converted to the new system, vehicle owners saw little difference when they registered and titled their vehicles. However, the new system made it easier for state and county workers to deliver services more effectively and efficiently.

One difference vehicle owners may have noticed is that the decal they are given to attach to their tag is no longer stapled to their registration. Instead, it's part of the registration itself. Using print-on-demand decals makes it easier for county and state offices to manage inventory and they require significantly less handling.

If your county treasurer’s office hasn’t been asking for your driver’s license when you’ve renewed your vehicle registration in the past, they will start now. The new DMV System puts the customer at the center of all transactions and it connects drivers to vehicles and all customers to his or her records. This simplifies your business transactions at both the state and county level.  

In the second phase of the project, when the state converts driver licensing functions to the new DMV System, drivers will see some changes that may not be the direct result of the new system itself. People seeking their first driver’s license, or to renew an existing driver’s license, will be asked to provide proof of identity and lawful presence. This is to meet more stringent state and federal requirements and the new DMV System will be valuable for recording and storing this information.

For a detailed description of the proof of identity requirements for driver’s licenses and identification cards, visit the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website at www.ksrevenue.org/dmvproof.html

When will you start using the new system?

Phase one, the vehicle titling and registration side of the system, launched the first week of May 2012. Phase two, the driver licensing side, is still being developed.