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Kiosks for vehicle registration renewals being put to use in North Dakota, leaders say

Kiosks that allow residents to renew their vehicle registrations in minutes have gained popularity since they have been installed in several large North Dakota cities, transportation leaders say.

A new self-service kiosk at Fargo's Stamart, 3500 12th Ave. N., allows motorists to renew their vehicle registration 24/7. Raju Chaduvula / Forum News Service
North Dakota's new self-service kiosks allow motorists to immediately print a renewed vehicle registration form with license tabs. Raju Chaduvula / The Forum

Kiosks that allow residents to renew their vehicle registrations in minutes have gained popularity since they have been installed in several large North Dakota cities, transportation leaders say.

The yellow machines that print out license plate tabs and registration cards for motorists have issued more than 56,000 renewals for North Dakota drivers since the program was implemented two years ago, said Lindi Michlitsch, motor vehicle division director for the state Department of Transportation.

"Our main goal was we wanted to give our citizens a convenient tool to be able to renew their registration cards because we know we can't be open 24 hours a day," she said.

The DOT noticed other states were using kiosks to issue vehicle registration renewals, so North Dakota wanted to see if there was a need for the machines across its state, Michlitsch said. A pilot program was launched in December 2016, with three Bismarck locations at the Kirkwood Mall, the Stamart Travel Center and at the Department of Motor Vehicles Office.

State leaders deemed the pilot program a success, and they started to expand it last year. The Stamart Travel Centers in Grand Forks and Fargo were the next locations to see the kiosks when they were installed in May, according to a news release. Minot, Dickinson and Williston all had kiosks by late July, with the machines being set up in one Case Wise store for each of those three cities.


The kiosk is a valuable addition to the Grand Forks Stamart, store manager Danielle Davila said. A lot of people have taken advantage of it, but it is fast enough that there is rarely a line, she said.

"It is pretty nifty, especially if you have to hit the road and you have to get tabs," she said. "You don't have to go to the DMV and wait in line."

North Dakota renews 1.1 million vehicles each year, Michlitsch said, adding that the DOT has seen a slight increase month to month with kiosk use since the machines were installed.

"The word is getting out on them," she said.

Drivers registering their vehicles for the first time still have to visit DMV offices or work with vehicle dealerships to get tabs for their vehicles. A North Dakota resident typically gets a letter several weeks before his or her registration expires, with the notification stating the card and tabs need to be renewed.

Previously, drivers either had to send a form with a check back to the state and wait several weeks before receiving their registrations or go to DMV offices to print out a card and tabs the same day.

The DOT implemented an online system in the late 2000s that allows motorists to renew their registrations and receive tabs and cards in five to 10 days.

The kiosks allow drivers to skip the lines at DMV offices and avoid waiting for days, if not weeks, before they receive registration cards and tabs.


Motorists who use the kiosks still need to enter into the machines the invoice number that can be found on the mailed DOT form reminding them to renew their registrations, or they can use the vehicle's title number and license plate number.

The DOT hadn't discussed further locations as of Thursday, Michlitsch said, but the DOT has received positive feedback from users.

"Right now, we want to see if these continue to be a success," she said. "Most of the comments I have heard is that it is very easy and very quick."

The DOT wants residents to be satisfied with its staff's performance, Michlitsch said. Drivers can use whatever means available to renewal their registrations, but officials want to get residents in and out as quickly as possible, she said.

"Our main goal is just to be able to provide all of the appropriate tools so the citizens can get their renewals in a timely fashion," she said.

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