Vehicle Registration Facilities – Struggling to Reach “Business as Usual”
By Lindsay Wood October 6, 2021
Across the U.S. and Canada, the Department of Motor Vehicles and Ministries of Transportation have implemented numerous strategies to keep vehicle and driver registration activities moving. But despite strong efforts, they continue to struggle to get to a “business as usual” operational state.
Limited Resources, Unlimited Requests.
Closures from 2020 created a significant backlog – with many facilities diligently working to keep up with the demand of driver’s license issuance and renewals, driving tests, REAL ID fulfillment, vehicle registrations, license plating and much more. Concurrently, increased safety measures are limiting capacity for walk-ins; some locations have moved to requiring appointments. In addition, there are many regions facing staffing shortages, forcing either shortened hours of operation or temporary closures. And to top it off, some states have been impacted by aluminum shortages causing a halt in license plate production due to lack of materials.
Despite all these challenges, we are not seeing any government orders to extend licenses or registrations like we did early in the pandemic when jurisdictions were fully closed. For us in the fleet industry, this begs the question – how will all our registrations get completed?
Wheels is Staying Focused.
We continue to keep a close eye on the situation through the support of the American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA) and the American Automotive Motor Vehicle Administration (AAMVA) organizations. To keep vehicles legal, our compliance team processes requests as early as possible, to allow ample time for completion. In some cases, this could mean working directly with the jurisdiction or by using a third-party supplier to complete the request.
In several jurisdictions, Wheels can process new plate and registration renewals in-house once requirements have been secured. As often as possible, we submit requests online; however, business and vehicle pre-requisites may require us to mail documentation before transactions are completed.
Fulfill Registration Requirements Quickly.
With many states and provinces requiring inspections or emissions testing prior to registration renewal, consider the time it will take to complete these actions. Appointments are now required at most motor vehicle facilities, emissions stations, and repair shops which may mean more time needed to complete this step. To get ahead of any potential impacts, it is important that drivers gather the necessary documentation and complete requirements as soon as possible.
Check Wheels’ resources frequently
Any impacts to U.S. and Canada jurisdictions will be reported on our COVID-19 Resource Center. In addition to our resource center, state- and province-level processing and requirement information is available in the Wheels Jurisdictional Profile, under the registration section in FleetView™. Transaction statuses are also available in the Wheels Registration dashboards for state and province transfers and renewal requests. And, as always, we’ll continue to keep you updated on any changes.