dmv modernization

Oregon DMV overhaul drives Real-ID compliance

As Oregon works toward complying with the Real ID Act, the state is also modernizing its computer systems at the Driver and Motor Vehicles division of the Department of Transportation.

The 2005 Real ID Act established new security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards related to data, documentation, verification and sharing. It also prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet these standards. That means ID from non-compliant states will not be accepted for entrance to military bases and federal facilities as well as at airport security checkpoints.

Although Oregon's DMV could use its existing mainframe computer software, created in the mid-1960s and ’70s, to implement a Real ID-compliant identification card, it would be costly and time consuming, Lauren Mulligan, a spokesperson for the department’s Service Transformation Program, said in an email.

“Because our modernization program has already been launched, issuing Real ID-compliant cards has been scheduled to coincide with our modernization program,” she added.

That revamp became necessary because the legacy software has become so outdated that it hinders the department’s ability to deliver myriad services, not just upgraded ID cards, she said.

“It could also affect the collection of revenues that support Oregon’s transportation system,” Mulligan said. “To meet the requirements of changing laws, address the significant limitations of the existing system and meet customer expectations, it is important for DMV to improve core business processes and support these with better technology.”

The modernization, which is in the second of its projected 10 years, will bring about several benefits for DMV employees and Oregonians alike, including more digital and self-serve options and faster visits to field offices.  “DMV will become a more nimble organization, better equipped to adapt to the changing needs of customers, business partners and the legislature,” Mulligan said.

At the end of June, DMV awarded Fast Enterprises a contract worth $69.4 million contract for its FastDS-VS system to replace Oregon's aged software. Fast DS-VS is an integrated software solution designed specifically for use by motor vehicle agencies. Its architecture is based on seven modules:

  • Customer maintains customer information such as demographics and registrations, and also has customer self-service features.
  • Driver services handles the issuance of licenses and ID credentials, while also supporting fraud detection and the reporting of driver restrictions.
  • Vehicle services deals with titling and registration
  • Financials supports revenue accounting and distribution.
  • Workflow enables managers to assign and prioritize work.
  • Information provides real-time reporting, data exchange, analysis and storage.  
  • Management studio allows employees to configure and use the solution.

“Choosing a commercial off-the-shelf product means that instead of building a costly and time-consuming custom system, Oregon DMV will work with the vendor to configure their existing product to meet our needs,” Mulligan said.

The first two years of the modernization effort were dedicated to readiness planning, including purchasing a commercial system. Officials are still determining how they will migrate paper-based and outdated digital records into the new systems, Mulligan said.

“We’ve selected our vehicle programs as the starting point, so we know that forms and records related to vehicle titling, registration and permits will change first,” she said. “We anticipate that most of the legacy software will be replaced with the new software over the next three years.”

The vehicles services module should be in place in early 2019, with the driver services module coming about 18 to 20 months later, she said. Becoming fully compliant with Real ID will be part of that second phase.

A law signed in early July set an implementation target date of July 1, 2020, just three months shy of the Homeland Security Department’s cutoff in October of that year for accepting IDs from non-compliant states.

The state speculates that with a firm implementation goal on record, the Department of Homeland Security will grant additional extensions beyond the current Jan. 22, 2018 deadline, according to an Oregon Transportation Department statement.

Editor's note: This article was changed Aug. 28 to correct the full name of the Oregon DMV.

About the Author

Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in northern Virginia.

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