Magazine Article | November 1, 2005

Imaging System Speeds DMV's Ticket Processing

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

With a document management system, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles reduced traffic ticket processing time by 2/3 and improved bar code read accuracy to 99%.

Integrated Solutions, November 2005

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Albany, NY processes 30,000 to 50,000 traffic-violation tickets per week. Earlier this year, the agency decided it needed a solution that would accelerate the processing of these tickets, as well as a complementary application that would allow it to better handle the licensing of parts salvaged from junked vehicles.

The DMV opted to work with Kofax Image Products, based on the vendor's extensive experience with government clients. Two separate systems, one for ticket imaging and the other for streamlining junk-and-salvage operations, were deployed during the spring of 2005. System components include Kofax' Ascent platform, Virtual ReScan (VRS) technology, and INDICIUS image capture tools.

In New York, tickets are collected from policing agencies throughout the state and mailed to the DMV's Albany office for processing. Prior to implementing the new system, data from tickets was manually entered into a legacy mainframe system. Employees would physically compile the tickets into batches of 50 to be sent to another unit for transfer onto microfiche. These paper-intensive methods were not only costly, they also left a wide margin for human error during data input. Additionally, a lack of access to ticket information during hearings impeded judges' ability to issue rulings on traffic cases in a timely fashion.

The ticket-imaging system has changed all that, reducing the time needed to process tickets by 2/3. Scanned digital data from tickets is collected by the Ascent Capture component of the Ascent platform, translated into a retrievable format, and fed into the DMV's IBM Content Manager document management software for transfer to the legacy mainframe. Manual data entry and separation of documents are no longer necessary, contributing to overall processing accuracy.

A universal traffic ticket (UTT) format is gradually being rolled out to the various state policing agencies to standardize the ticket form and further accelerate the ticket-imaging process. INDICIUS, an advanced image capture tool that works as an add-on to Ascent Capture, will be used to process UTT tickets.

The VRS technology has helped improve ticket data capture accuracy by correcting skewing, blurring, smudging, and other impediments to image quality, during the image capture stage. At the same time, VRS supports more accurate reading of bar-coded ticket identifiers affixed to paper tickets – an essential step in automating the ticket-imaging and information retrieval process. Bar code read accuracy now stands at close to 99%.

By enhancing processing speed and accuracy, the ticket-imaging solution enables faster revenue collection for the state. It also bolsters customer service through quicker access to ticket information. It contributes to a stronger judicial system because judges and other constituents can electronically obtain ticket data as hearings are conducted, leading to expedited rulings.

To address junked and salvaged vehicles, the DMV uses Ascent Capture and VRS to capture and preserve the integrity of documents pertaining to title services, safety records, and licensing. When vehicles are junked, dismantlers claim the spare parts, refurbish them, and either sell them to the public or place them into other vehicles that are being rebuilt prior to resale. Before junked vehicles may be resold, state investigators must view the parts to ensure that they are properly licensed.

In the past, the licensing process took 9 to 12 weeks. For each licensing application, dismantlers were required to submit 2 to 30 pages of documents to one of nine statewide agencies that perform parts inspections. Dismantlers were frustrated with the long turnaround from the DMV before they could sell their products. The wait also caused problems for insurance companies seeking to obtain official titleholder status over junked vehicles.

The new image capture platform permits the agency to handle 500 to 900 junk-and-salvage-related documents per day; the licensing process now requires just two or three weeks. Insurance company forms for obtaining titles to junked vehicles are also processed in a more expedient fashion, using the same image capture technology. A large backlog of licensing applications has almost been eliminated, as have the hundreds of daily telephone calls placed to the nine state inspection sites by dismantlers wishing to learn the status of their licensing applications.