From the Director: New MVD computer system a 'moonshot' for ADOT

From the Director: New MVD computer system a 'moonshot' for ADOT

By John Halikowski / ADOT Director
July 30, 2019

The U.S. recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and for anyone interested in technology one fact stood out: the average smart device we can hold in our hand today will perform instructions 120 million times faster than the computers on that spacecraft.

I raise this point because at the ADOT Motor Vehicle Division, our employees can sometimes feel like they’re using computer technology that’s from a bygone era. Well, that’s because they are.

The system used by our Customer Service Representatives works OK for its age, but it’s sorely in need of replacement, which is exactly what’s happening now. For several years, we have been preparing to roll out a new state-of-the art system that will greatly enhance our ability to serve customers more quickly and with greater efficiency.

The system will be in place near the end of 2019, but we’re already in the process of training our employees, which is a gargantuan task in its own right and has some short-term implications for our customers.

Because it’s most efficient to train employees from individual offices at one time, we’re closing locations for one week on a rolling statewide schedule. That means an office in one area of the state may be shut down, but there will be another MVD office or an Authorized Third Party provider within a reasonable distance that’s open and able to serve customers. In some areas, we will dispatch our new Mobile MVD office to pick up some of the slack. 

Despite the inconvenience these rolling closures may create for some, the end result will be an MVD that runs even more smoothly. For example, the time it takes to do business with MVD has dropped from a statewide average of almost an hour in 2015 to less than half an hour now. A lot of that success is due to the innovative ideas our employees come up with to make customer service better and the multiple online services available at and AZMVDNow. 

I have indeed respect for the people of that time who were innovative enough to achieve the landing on the moon with technology that falls as far short of our expectations of technology today. Despite all that, the astronauts made it to the moon and back in 1969. MVD may not literally shoot for the moon, but if we can make so many great improvements to our service with outmoded computers, imagine what great things are on the way!