DMV Keeps the Titles Flowing

NHADA President Peter J.McNamara and NHADA Vice President for Government Relations Dan Bennett

We write this article to give a shout-out to the team at the NH Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the NH Department of Safety (DOS) for their excellent customer service. Each morning, Sherry, from the DMV, sends out an email to a couple of dozen stakeholders letting all of us know of the status of the title work at the DMV. The day we wrote this article, the title applications received from dealers on February 22 were being issued within eight business days (12 calendar). The timeframes for title apps from NH towns and cities, lienholders, and salvage were all at ten business days (14 calendar).

To give you an idea of the amount of work that the DMV faced on March 6, check out these numbers:

  • 3,708 dealer applications in the queue to be processed;
  • 4,313 registration applications in the queue to be processed;
  • 541 lienholder apps in the queue to be processed; and
  • 1,266 salvage applications in the queue to be processed.

In fiscal year 2017, the DMV issued 386,563 titles:

  • 127,840, New and Demo; and
  • 258,723, Used.

The DMV has also been farming out title work to all the sub-stations. If an employee working the counter doesn’t have a customer in front of them, he or she starts working on the title applications. DMV Title Supervisor Priscilla Vaughan runs a tight ship at the DMV and focuses on the critical mission of DMV efficiency and customer service.

Dealer/Station Employee Shortcut

Speaking of walk-in customers, the DMV has been tweaking its process at the Concord offices to maximize the flow of walk-ins. This is difficult to do as each customer coming off the street might have a different issue to present to the clerk and may be missing paperwork.

As for dealership and inspection station employees that walk into its Concord offices, the DMV has set up a special kiosk. The kiosk, which looks like an iPad or tablet mounted in a banner stand is on the left-hand side as you are facing the Customer Service Desk that you see when you first walk in. You can skip the counter and walk right to the kiosk for basic transactions such as the dropping off or purchasing of supplies. The first step will be to indicate that you are a dealer or station representative and then what type of transaction you wish to conduct. You will then be directed with a job number to the desk area to the right of the customer service desk for an “express lane” kind of transaction.

Clerical Errors Slow the DMV’s Title Processing

Timely title turnaround is critical to your cash flow. If dealerships aren’t getting titles for their used vehicle inventory, it makes it difficult to sell the vehicle.

Also critical to title turn-around is clerical accuracy. If dealerships fail to properly complete the paperwork, the DMV workflow necessarily slows down.

As a service to the DMV and town clerks, NHADA has regularly reported the most common errors found on title apps and asked that dealerships police their paperwork for these simple mistakes:

  • Fill in the title application completely.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) vs. shipping weight: Some towns say dealers are not putting in the GVW. Please remember to use GVW, not shipping weight, on the title application.
  • Trust-owned vehicles: Do not put the trustee on the title applications; we only need the title issued in the Trust name.(Some applicants are insisting on adding the trustees.)
  • Plate issues: When a customer has a plate they want to transfer onto the new car, the new title needs to have the same first name on the title as the old registration. Some dealerships are failing to ask about this when plate transfers are requested.
  • Keeping customers registrations: The customer needs the old registration to get credit to transfer old plates to the new car.
  • Acceptable identification: We do not register vehicles without a NH driver’s license or other form of government issued ID. Not including this information on the application slows down the process for the consumer and the registration agent or Town Clerk.
  • Please be sure that all forms are filled out completely, accurately, and legibly.