Department of Motor Vehicles: An Example of Social Media and Online Success

The DMV has been a thought-leader in the social media genre in state government and is continuing to show a progressive mentality. In 2010, the department launched its Twitter site, and began a two-way conversation on a wide range of issues of importance to California motorists. Since then, DMV has improved its social media acumen. Facebook has provided a unique and viral platform to engage motorists and allow DMV to share meaningful and influential content on virtually all matters involving drivers. Its charge has been – and continues to be – to create the most dynamic, most viewed, highest example of digital influence by any state or federal motor vehicle department.

In order to increase their Twitter followers, the DMV has been attempting to provide educational and useful information, such as their latest tweet about how to choose the correct car seat for your child. The DMV is also using their Twitter to respond to people’s questions and concerns. As these questions get answered, followers retweet helpful answers for others to see, resulting in an exponential spread of DMV information. By the end of the pilot, the DMV saw a 351% increase in retweets.

Earlier this year, the DMV expanded its mobile presence by launching DMV NOW, the first Android app of its kind deployed by a state motor vehicle department. This new app provides numerous benefits. We’ve all been there – patiently (or impatiently) waiting for our number to be called so that we can go about our business at the DMV. With the DMV NOW app you can now view the nearest DMV to you and the actual wait time, making it easier to avoid those long DMV lines. The app includes many other features. Were you randomly selected to renew your license and retake the written exam? Fear not, the DMV NOW app lets you schedule your appointment, view study materials and videos, and take practice exams all from your smart phone. It almost makes carrying around that DMV handbook seem obsolete.

Overall, in 2010 the DMV saw a 12% increase in online activity from 2009. DMV customers are turning to online solutions for issues such as registering vehicles and changing addresses. George Valverde, DMV Director, has indicated that the department will continue to implement new technologies and create more online options for customers.

Follow the DMV on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ca_dmv