Governor Carney Signs Customer-Friendly DMV Legislation

Dover – Governor John Carney was joined by Senator Stephanie Hansen and Representative Ed Osienski today as he signed two pieces of legislation approved by the General Assembly into law that will further enhance the customer service experience for all Delaware drivers.

The first bill, House Bill 146, removes the requirement for signatures to be in pen and ink when provided for driver license, identification card, or registration application processes. The removal of this provision enables the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to develop more efficient means of serving customers including expanded online services. The Division will be implementing the capability for customers to renew their driver’s license online by the end of 2017.

The second bill, House Bill 246, increases the exemption from inspection from five years to seven years for all new vehicles, and will apply to all new vehicles purchased after January 1, 2012. Currently, vehicles in the five newest model years are exempt from inspection. DMV has a biennial inspection for vehicles under 8,500lbs. This legislation reduces the number of inspections per year by approximately 45,000 vehicles. All owners of vehicle with a current five year expiration can easily renew their registration for an additional two years via mail, by using the DMV drive-thru, or by using DMV’s online registration renewal tool once they are within 90 days of expiration.

“These two bills are great examples of how we can operate more efficiently and provide even better customer service for Delawareans,” said Governor Carney. “Thanks to technology, new vehicles are safer and more efficient than ever, and we can provide services online that once required a physical trip to one of our facilities.”

“I’m grateful to Governor Carney and the General Assembly for seeing the value of this legislation that just makes sense for all of our customers and still ensures a high level of both security in our licensing process and safety in our inspection process,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan.

“This is just the latest opportunity for us to provide a higher level of service to our customers,” DMV Director Scott Vien said. “It allows us to expand our services, and we’re excited to save our customers a trip to our offices.”

“The perception about the DMV being a hassle for residents simply doesn’t apply in Delaware. Our Division of Motor Vehicles does an excellent job at customer service and looking for new, innovative ways to better accommodate a busy public,” said Rep. Ed Osienski, who chairs the House Transportation Committee and sponsored both bills. “By using technology to make people’s lives easier and reducing the number of vehicles going through inspection lines, we are shortening the wait times at the DMV and streamlining the processes. These might be small changes, but they will have a big impact on residents’ experiences at the DMV.”

In addition, Governor Carney also signed Senate Bill 97, which allows Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) authorized vehicles to be able to use the shoulder of the road when responding to emergencies. DelDOT staff must respond to emergencies along the road to assist police, fire and paramedics with traffic control during an incident. By allowing the use of the shoulder of the road, DelDOT will be able to respond in a timely manner.

“People don’t always think about it, but first responders rely on DelDOT vehicles and personnel to help manage traffic in emergencies,” said Sen. Stephanie Hansen. “That matters for drivers. More importantly, it keeps emergency personnel safe and frees them up to focus on more pressing problems. Giving DelDOT shoulder access will make emergency response faster and more effective—and, together SB 97, HB 146 and HB 246, should make owning and driving a car a better, easier, safer experience for everyone.”