DMV is conducting a registration compliance survey in eight counties
October 3, 2013
Survey is part of a comprehensive review of Wisconsin’s vehicle registration and renewal process.
For the next several months, residents of eight Wisconsin counties may notice survey teams photographing license plates in parking lots. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants people to know that this is a routine study, and there is no cause for alarm. DMV Bureau of Vehicle Services Director Mitchell Warren stresses that "The information being collected and reviewed relates only to the vehicles and plates; no connection is made to the vehicle owner."
The survey team records the plate with a digital camera, then compares it to a file from DMV’s database that gives them plate number, expiration date, vehicle year, make, model and color.
Each team has identification issued by DOT, and the cars they are using have DOT placards, so they are clearly marked. Additionally, survey teams provide advance notice to law enforcement agencies in the counties where the survey is being conducted: LaCrosse, Wood, Outagamie, Winnebago, Columbia, Washington, Milwaukee and Walworth. Survey teams began working in mid-September and will wrap up by Thanksgiving. Warren stresses, "This is not an enforcement effort. The survey teams are not able to issue tickets, and the data collected does not link a plate to a person. The purpose is to gather numerical data that will give us an idea of the overall percentage of registrations not in compliance."
This study will also include a separate, mailed survey to 500 randomly-selected Wisconsin households that will address possible barriers to getting and keeping registration current. DMV has also already conducted focus groups with stakeholders. The goal is to conduct a comprehensive review of vehicle registration and renewal, leading to improvements in convenience, security and cost.