2014 Runner Up: An Online Portal for Handicap Parking Applications

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) processes approximately 40,000 requests for Handicap Parking Permits every year. The previous system required applicants to complete multiple time consuming and inconvenient requirements—such as making an appointment with a physician and visiting the county treasurer—before finally submitting an application. Most individuals underwent a wait time of two to three weeks before receiving their permits in the mail.

Time is of the essence for many of those in need of a Handicap Parking Permit, and a three week wait-period can result in significant distress. Similarly, the transportation necessary to complete an application can be taxing and unreasonable for some disabled individuals.

Understanding the challenges of the existing structure, the Nebraska DMV implemented a web-based system designed to increase efficiency for all parties involved in the Handicap Permit Application Process. The three part system launched in 2012 allows for medical professionals to submit permit applications and for permit holders to request replacements online. Most importantly, the Department of Motor Vehicles can review and approve permit requests with the click of a button. The average wait time with this innovative system is one to two days.

By leveraging a relationship with the state portal provider, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles was able to circumvent all upfront costs for the project. Since the online application was made available to medical professionals in the summer of 2012, over 1,200 of the state’s doctors have enrolled in the web-based system to issue permits. In less than two years, 50% of all new renewal permits processed are done so through the online interface.

The new system saves DMV staff over four-thousand hours per year compared to the previous paper-based method, and the backlog of permit requests that the DMV faced daily is now nonexistent.

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