Diane Archie: Improvements to Driver and Vehicle Services

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Check against delivery

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories understands how important it is for residents to have reliable and efficient access to driver and vehicle services. For this reason, we are committed to delivering and improving these services for the public, even during a global pandemic.

I would like to thank the employees working at driver and vehicle offices across the territory, including our regional contractors and online support staff.

The GNWT knows that our residents need to have access to services. Because of the pandemic, Driver and Motor Vehicle office, or DMV, have had to change how they operate. To ensure the safety of our staff and the public, our offices were closed from March to July, 2020. DMV employees and contractors had to quickly adapt to accommodate the public by phone and email. Once reopened to the public, our offices had to implement new health and safety measures, which impacted capacity in waiting areas.

Despite these challenges, this past year our government has provided almost 63 thousand in-person service requests and over 68 thousand online service transactions across the territory. These services included issuing new driver’s licence and general identification cards, providing residents with driver abstracts, updating and renewing existing licences, and registering vehicles. 

Mr. Speaker, we do recognize the need to improve further. We have heard some concerns, particularly from Yellowknife residents around the booking process for in-person visits to our issuing office. We value feedback from the public and are always looking for ways to improve our customer service delivery. That is why the Yellowknife DMV office is distributing anonymous exit surveys to clients, asking them to share their thoughts around the GNWT’s booking process. These surveys will help guide decision-making around client service processes in the future.

On the digital side of things, work is underway to improve the driver and vehicle website, also known as iDMV. The iDMV provides residents with several online services, such as renewing a driver’s licence or vehicle registration. While this website has been very useful for residents, we have also heard from many people about how challenging it can be to use at times. We hear and value your feedback, and are committed to doing better. Clients can expect an improved, more user-friendly iDMV web experience in the coming months.

Mr. Speaker, one of our core functions are issuing driver’s licenses and general identification cards. This past year we have made some exciting upgrades to these documents. The new cards offer improved security features, meaning they are more difficult to alter or replicate, keep unlicensed and suspended drivers off the road and protect residents from fraud. We also introduced facial recognition technology. Images for driver’s licences and general identification cards that are taken at driver and vehicle offices will be used for the facial recognition system. This will provide residents with greater protection from identity theft and make it even harder to obtain driver’s licenses when banned from driving in another jurisdiction.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories will continue to prioritize resident safety, while delivering driver and vehicle services to residents across the territory. We will continue to listen to our clients’ feedback so that we can improve on the delivery of these important services. 

Quyanainni, Mr. Speaker.