DMV Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customers using the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles last year generally enjoyed a smooth-flowing operation, a statewide survey shows.

More than 93 percent of customers said they were satisfied with DMV's service, and more than 50 percent rated the service as excellent, according to a University of Virginia survey. U.Va.'s Center for Survey Research polled 1,225 residents with valid Virginia driver's licenses or vehicles registered in the Commonwealth who had contacted DMV within the last 12 months.

Conducted in November and December, the survey shows an overall satisfaction rating of DMV's services of 3.53 on a 4.0 scale. About 80 percent of those surveyed said DMV's service had improved in the last few years.

"The survey provides a benchmark. While delighted with these results, I want to see even higher ratings the next time a survey is conducted," said DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb.

Customers' performance ratings jumped significantly over similar ratings in 1993 and 1988 statewide surveys. The mean performance ratings were 3.53, 3.02 and 3.12 respectively for 1997, 1993 and 1988.

"For a government agency that collects fees and enforces regulations, these are especially high ratings," said Thomas M. Guterbock, center director. "The improvement in the level of service is clearly significant." Guterbock's co-author of the report is David D. Hartman, a former U.Va. faculty member who is now at Michigan State University.

To improve service at its 72 offices statewide, DMV has been emphasizing the importance of well-trained employees and incorporating technology, such as installing computerized testing machines and implementing a new electronic queuing system, Holcomb said.

Those surveyed said that the most important attributes contributing to customer satisfaction were helpfulness of DMV employees, efficient customer service, resolution of problems and reasonable wait times.

"The survey showed that DMV's electronic queuing service contributed positively to customer satisfaction," Guterbock said.

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