A New Chat-bot Named Miles, and Other Changes the California DMV Is Making in a Pandemic

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Publication: Sacramento Bee

From credit card support to an online field office, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has made a swath of changes to its customer experience in the middle of an unprecedented global pandemic.

Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s strike team uncovered critical problems in the department’s command structure and customer service capabilities.

Now, after working through a pandemic that closed all of its offices for more than two months, DMV Director Steve Gordon said the department has made some necessary changes.

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One of the outspoken critics, Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, said this week that the department is taking steps in the right direction.

“The DMV’s job during the pandemic wasn’t easy, balancing health and safety with the public’s needs,” he said in a statement. “But new leadership also saw these challenging times as an opportunity to implement some improvements, such a redesigned website that’s more user-friendly and the creation of a virtual office. These changes have led us toward a department of the future that better serves Californians.”

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