PUHI — In about the time it takes to write a check, amass the necessary documents, place everything in an envelope, and seal it, the new registration documents and emblems could be ready — using the county Department of Finance Motor Vehicle Registration section kiosk at the Safeway store in the Hokulei Village.
This was demonstrated Wednesday as Del Sherman and Michelle Rubio each conducted separate transactions using the kiosk that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This is something really good,” said Gary Toombs, regional sales manager for the Neighbor Islands representing Coca Cola Hawaii, who happened to be visiting the Safeway store when a small audience gathered to celebrate the collaborative private-government partnership. “Supermarkets are open all the time, and having services like this available is really convenient for the consumers. We should be looking at more services to become available like this.”
Making motor vehicle registration more efficient and comfortable was one of the first projects taken on by Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami after taking office. On Jan. 16, he initiated a take-a-number system and established an express lane to make vehicle transactions more efficient and comfortable for patrons.
“This public-partnership is part of the county’s customer service initiative to decentralize services, reduce traffic and give our residents and businesses an alternative way to pay for their motor vehicle registrations,” Kawakami said in a county release. “Mahalo to our Finance Department team, Safeway, Intellectual Technology Inc., and the Kauai County Council for their support.”
The freestanding, self-contained unit utilizes touch-screen technology to help vehicle owners register vehicles without the hassle of standing in line, and is a partnership between the county motor vehicle regstration section and private sector, including Safeway and Intellectual Technology, Inc.
The kiosk celebrated Wednesday is the first self-service kiosk for motor vehicle registrations on the island.
It allows customers to pay for their motor vehicle registrations via touchscreen technology by entering their license plate number, or scanning the bar code of their vehicle renewal form. Customers can only use debit or credit cards for transactions, and will incur a $3 service fee as well as a 2.25 percent debit and credit card fee.
Once the transaction is completed, the kiosk will print out the vehicle registration and license plate emblems.
“We are proud to be one of the first stores to host DMV kiosk on Kauai,” said Lesah Merritt, Safeway store manager. “In the past few days that the kiosk has been working, customers really like it. It has worked for them.”
County Treasurer David Schwartz, credited with spearheading the installation of the kiosk, said this is just the first step. He said another kiosk is planned for the second Safeway store in March that would appeal to North Shore residents.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.