I, like most of us here, think government functions should NOT be privatized and subject to the profit motive. Unfortunately, NY state, in an effort to reduce costs and labor, has begun to partially privatize the Dept of Motor Vehicles.
In NY state, people can be licensed by the DMV to fill out paperwork and bring the paperwork to a DMV location for it to be processed for the public. My mother is one person who has been licensed to perform this service for over 40 years. She can get vehicles registered, have titles and license plates (tags as they may be called elsewhere) issued, surrender plates, among other things. The one thing people like her cannot is anything having to with driver’s licenses. Her clients range from average working people to auto body shops and junk yards to military history museums. She has registered everything from classic cars to buses to tractor trailers to armored vehicles to airplanes.
When she began performing this service, she had to stand online like everyone else. Sometimes having to process upwards of 20 clients a day, she could end up spending hours waiting on line. A few years after she started her business, the DMV opened a dedicated office for people like her to drop off paperwork in the morning and the processed items would be given back to her at the end of business that day. Not only did this allow her more time to manage her clients and the business, but it gave her more time spend with the family.
Recently, the DMV has decided to authorize people who perform the services my mother performs to do everything in house. This means private businesses can now print plates, accept plates for surrender, print registrations, etc. The DMV will get a document fee for all work processes by these private businesses, and they are allowed to charge whatever they’d like above the fees people will pay directly to the DMV including all applicable sales taxes.
While people can still go to the DMV to access these services, people may mistakenly believe a private business is the DMV itself. Also, while there will be oversight and regulation of the people who are allowed to perform these services (history of being licensed, background checks, strict record retention and storage), the number of inspectors will pale in comparison to the number of businesses being opened. Seems like a lot a risk, imo.
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