By Victoria Horne, Executive Lead RMV Modernization – Cyber Security and Digital Solutions

Citizens want faster, simpler, and greener services.  They want driver licensing to work quickly and easily.  They want to access services that fit their lifestyle and schedule.  They want to know that their information is secure and that applying for their identification will be straightforward and easy to do.

Person using laptop to renew their vehicle permit.

With that goal in mind, the Government of Nova Scotia is building a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) that delivers services designed to meet the needs and expectations of Nova Scotians.  Everyone involved in the RMV modernization project owns that mission.

To accomplish these goals, we need to put citizens’ needs at the heart of everything we do to create a more efficient RMV that can respond quickly and delivers value.  We want to reduce the number of manual processes our staff currently handle which will make our systems easier to improve, maintain, and adapt.  On top of this, we need to be ready for new technology and new legislation.

RMV services will be simpler, easier, and clearer.  Better.  How do we make it happen?

A cross-government team that pulls together

RMV modernization brings together teams from the departments of Service Nova Scotia, Public Works, and the new Department of Cyber Security and Digital Solutions.  We’re a multi-disciplinary team working in new ways.

We will fix and modernize existing systems, help colleagues work more efficiently, and improve road safety (licensing, license suspensions, permits, motor vehicle inspections, etc.).  We are already delivering quick improvements to build momentum.

Over the past year and a half, we stood up three work streams dedicated to untangling or migrating services from our existing IT system (RMV3), providing services for managing driver suspensions, and building a tool to support citizens in booking their road tests online.

The wait for drivers’ tests has become an issue due to factors such as unprecedented population growth, tests being bumped due to pandemic restrictions, and old paper-based processes that are time consuming for staff.  Our team has been able to step in and help make the process more efficient to help reduce the waitlist.  Our driver examiner capacity work stream will support our partners in two areas:

  1. Reducing no-shows and incomplete appointments:  10% of appointments end up as no-shows or result in candidates arriving unprepared.
  2. Reducing manual reporting of results and stats:  driving examiners currently have to manually report stats and fill out paperwork for drivers.  This takes around 30 minutes per examiner per day, which could be used as another time slot to test.

We believe that work around these two areas combined will result in increased capacity for scheduling more road tests in Nova Scotia.

Our subject matter experts have been integral to the discovery and identification of quick wins for our partners. Our governance model (led by Executive Directors from Cyber Security and Digital Solutions, Public Works, and Service Nova Scotia) helped us make decisions quickly and reprioritize based on current needs.  We’ve made this important shift in our work by staying closely connected with our partners and being responsive to their needs.  It also means we continue to add value to the project and for Nova Scotians.

Why this work is important

At RMV modernization we are focused on trialing and learning as we go:  both about our systems and making changes to the policies that inform them.  There will be many opportunities as the project progresses for citizens and staff to participate in the process.  We continue to learn from valuable user interviews we’ve conducted as we’ve developed our driver suspension tool.

Stay tuned for for future opportunities to participate in our user testing!