The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is moving forward with its technology modernization efforts to create a digital DMV experience, increasing efficiency and automating processes so that nearly all transactions can be accomplished digitally and through other channels, without visiting a DMV office. It’s highly relevant amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to restrict people from congregating or touching paper forms to limit exposure while urging people to do more online from home. The combination of SimpliGov’s workflow automation and online forms, combined with UiPath’s robotics process automation for legacy integration, is making this possible.
Among the various processes that are completely manual and paper-based at the DMV is applying for and/or renewing Motor Carrier Permits. These permits are needed for drivers who transport property, operate large commercial vehicles, transport hazardous materials or operate vehicles requiring commercial driver license. Previously, there was no digital way for constituents to interact with the DMV for this service.
People had to go to the DMV website, download and fill the form, then mail it back DMV with a check for payment or go to the DMV in person. DMV headquarters mailroom would process the incoming mail, sort the contents, reject incomplete forms (about 1/3rd of the submissions were rejected due to data quality issues from incomplete/invalid content) and manually key in the information into a back-end system (a task that averages nearly twenty minutes for each form, not including the time the person took to fill out and go to the DMV office or to mail the form). Processing was slow, and the experience for constituents was sluggish and disconnected with re-submission needed in many cases and phone calls to the customers in other cases.
The DMV decided to go with a digital solution that delivered important advancements: (1) Transforming paper workflow into digital; (2) Creating an online presence for a self-service experience while improving submission quality; and (3) Faster and efficient application processing by automated back office data entry. To accomplish this goal, the DMV selected the SimpliGov cloud-based online forms platform and UiPath based intelligent automation.
The DMV was able to deliver a digital version of the Motor Carrier Permit form by using the SimpliGov workflow automation platform, which creates an online form associated with the workflow. SimpliGov is a leading platform for government workflow automation and online forms with integrated electronic signatures. UiPath is the leading platform for Robotics Process Automation (RPA). Working together, SimpliGov and UiPath were able to deliver the total solution up and running for the DMV in eight weeks, supporting and enabling the DMV’s aggressive move to increase their digital presence.
The new, transformed service channel improves the DMV customer experience by streamlining the data entry process and divides the data entry into two steps: the pre-validation step and the submission step. The DMV customer is able to pre-validate information via form field validations and bot-based validations against DMV databases. When a person fills in the fields for name, permit number and email address to start a submission process, the information is sent to a UiPath “bot” that validates the information against internal DMV systems and responds to the SimpliGov workflow with specific confirmation information.
The SimpliGov workflow engine then notifies the customer to continue the submission and provides a link to continue with the rest of the form, or notifies the customer of the ineligibility in continuing with the online process – all while protecting the individual’s privacy.
The submission step transmits the completed SimpliGov online form data to the UiPath “bots” via a seamless and secure integration, thanks to the integration work between the two partners. This integration provides the advantage of reduced manual data entry with the UiPath “bot” doing this “swivel chair” automation, moving SimpliGov form data into one or more back-end systems; and reducing the manual work at the DMV and boosting productivity and service request completion time. The submission step also includes capturing and transmitting document attachments to DMV’s document management system.
The “bot” augments the DMV workforce as a very efficient co-worker. The “bot employee” can perform repetitive tasks 24×7, such as gathering data, verifying data or entering information in back office applications, in nearly real-time or a scheduled batch mode.
This integrated use case also includes a SimpliGov dashboard user interface that provides the DMV back office team an avenue to manage any submission exceptions that cannot be automated or fail automation. The digital dashboard gives the DMV a business activity monitoring tool, providing visibility into the digital workload around form submissions and bot outcome. When a form submission or back office automation by the bot employee needs special attention, the dashboard makes such transactions available as “exception” for further review by a “human employee.”
The SimpliGov workflow automation solution also handles a PCI-compliant payment information capture, bank file generation and reconciliation reports to provide a complete online transaction experience.
In addition, for audit purposes, the SimpliGov platform generates a PDF version of each completed form, using its built-in PDF generator. This meets compliance requirements for the DMV to retain an image of the completed MCP form within the DMV system.
The digital transformation solution, combining SimpliGov online forms and UiPath robotics, is delivering a variety of benefits to the DMV, including:
- Improved user experience
- Improved submission quality
- Faster service request processing
- Increased back office efficiency
- Paperless workflow maintaining compliance
The DMV’s shift to digital comes at the right time when DMV resources are constrained and access to DMV field offices are restricted, while a growing number of constituents prefer obtaining and renewing permits completely online.
The use of a “bot” to manage the end-to-end workflow, re-purposing the data in front-end forms and doing the tedious work that was previously manual and time-intensive, is freeing up DMV staff to focus more on higher-value activities. It also makes better use of time by zeroing in on the exceptions, which are handled intelligently by “bots,” creating a new, productive partnership between government workers and automation.
Ultimately, the move to workflow automation and online forms, as part of modernization efforts and digital transformation, advances the reputation of the DMV as a customer service-focused organization. The California DMV is the first DMV in the United States to make this leap forward, essentially shifting gears and setting a new pace at the speed of digital. The California DMV is also taking the lead in providing additional services through an innovative concept of Virtual Field Offices (VFOs), which SimpliGov is helping to enable, along with a host of new digital innovative services soon to be delivered at the California DMV.