DC DMV to add SmarTrip to Licenses, remove in-person parking appeals

While many news outlets are expressing dismay over the DMV’s desire to eliminate in-person appeals for parking tickets. Now, despite the hyperbole of all the people shouting about their rights, the DMV will still be allowing for Mail-in Appeals and E-mail Appeals for parking tickets, so it’s not like you can’t contest your latest parking infraction.

Also in the DMV Plan for FY08 [Warning, PDF] are a few other hidden gems that include:

  1. INITIATIVE 1.4: Begin implementation of SmarTrip in DC drivers’ licenses and identification cards.
    Automobiles are only one of the methods for traveling in DC. The primary mode of transportation for many residents is Metrobus and Metrorail. SmarTrip is the most efficient way of paying for transit service. Installing SmarTrip chips in drivers’ licenses and ID cards will allow all District residents access to SmarTrip cards and encourage transit usage.
  2. INITIATIVE 2.1: Develop and implement a customer satisfaction survey.
    One of the best ways to gauge whether the workforce is adequately delivering quality customer service is to obtain feedback directly from customers soon after their interaction with DMV. To achieve this objective, DMV will develop a customer satisfaction survey that can be delivered to customers immediately after their visit to DMV.
  3. INITIATIVE 1.1: Reduce wait times on Saturdays.
    Currently, DMV has only one service center open on Saturdays. This results in longer wait times due to peak demand on Saturdays. By March 2008, DMV will change the operating days of one additional location from Monday through Friday to Tuesday through Saturday. Doing so will relieve crowding at the 95 M Street, SW location on Saturdays.

Removing the Appeals may sound like a big deal, but when a letter or email would work just fine? Do we really need to go down there?

3 Comments so far

  1. Todd L. Gilbert (unregistered) on November 13th, 2007 @ 7:59 am

    My, you’re a trusting soul. You actually live in DC, right? ;)

    I might be mistaken, but from what I’ve read, up to a third of current DC ticket appeals result in dismissal. It’s a major loss of potential revenue to your cash-strapped city.

    They can’t be liking that…

    Corruption/incompetence on a DC scale is EXPENSIVE to do properly! 20 million here, 20 million there, it stacks up fast, doesn’t it?

    (Especially if they plan to be issuing LOTS more tickets… BOHICA!)

    Wouldn’t it be MUCH easier to deny appeals in bulk when there’s nobody physically attached to them?

    Kinda makes me wanna go: hmmmmmmmmm…

  2. RumorsDaily (unregistered) on November 13th, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    With an email/letter appeal, there’s also nothing to stop them from simply losing your appeal (either due to malice or simply sloppy record keeping). The ability to show up in court at least guarantees that someone is going to have deal with you (and probably reject you in person).

    Besides, we already have an email/letter appeal process that a friend of mine just went through (and won). The court appearance, I believe, came after the email/letter phase. This sounds like they’re removing one level of appeals.

    The SmarTrip/Drivers License idea is a good one.

  3. Don (unregistered) on November 13th, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

    I personally find that certified mail with a return receipt does a perfectly fine job of dealing with the potential for loss, either via malice or incompetence.

    The suggestion that being physically present for the hearing makes the slightest bit of difference is pretty specious. As Rumorsdaily’s anecdote demonstrates, it’s perfectly possible to contest via mail and succeed.

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