A recent legislative audit suggests the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles begin looking at providing some of its services online, and we would agree.
West Virginia is one of only three states not offering the renewal of motor vehicle registrations online, something which has been suggested in the state since 2002 as a way to save taxpayer money and streamline services.
Other states, including our western neighbor Ohio, have provided such online services for years, putting the Mountain State behind in many ways.
Pilot projects were developed in Nicholas and Wayne counties, according to state officials; however, a system was never fully established - supposedly because of lobbying from sheriffs in the state.
We live in a day where more and more basic services are offered online, whether it be bill paying, banking, shopping and even college classes. In addition, we have to remember that not everyone is able to reach a DMV office with a five to 15 minute drive as many of our residents. It often can take 30 or more minutes to reach a DMV office or sheriff's department in some portions of our state, and people aren't always able to find the time they need to make the trips.
In addition to vehicle registration renewal, the audit also suggests offering online drivers license renewal, which is available in 27 states.
Ultimately, it would mean easier access to the services for residents, shorter wait lines in the regional offices and a savings to residents and the state itself. Those are all good reasons for lawmakers to seriously look into this proposal.
DMV officials explained there are still some systems which need to be established before the services can be offered. The good news is, some of those systems already are being developed, including accepting credit card payments online.
While it will take some time for officials to implement any kind of online program, we believe it will be well worth it when they finally do get rolled out.