At Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV)s across the country, the days of waiting in line may be numbered.

That's the goal of an innovative queue system that virtually eliminates the need for customers to physically stand in line. The virtual line management system, called QLess, lets users input a mobile phone number to hold their place in line and notifies them about wait times, which frees users up to run errands, grab a cup of coffee, etc. Users will receive text message alerts to let them know when it's their turn.

It works similar to the paging devices given out at some restaurants, except customers can use their cell phones and don't need to stay onsite. According to the QLess website, the system has given back customers more than eight years of time standing in line. The system has already been integrated in places such as restaurants, but the public sector is catching on, said Jon Burke, director of marketing and sales for QLess.

This year, QLess was integrated in two independently operated DMV offices in Missouri. Cyril Wrabec, whose company won the award to take over the Independence, Mo., office in December, included the QLess system in his bid, which he said helped the bid stand out. Even though it's still in the early stages and most people don't know the system exists, he said, the advantages are numerous. He can generate reports to target historical peak traffic periods, and adjust staffing patterns accordingly and use the data to see which clerks are the slowest and the fastest, among other things.

The basic QLess package costs $1,000 for the setup per location, and 20 cents per person in line, depending on the volume, Burke said. But as far as the customers are concerned, Wrabec said, the benefit of avoiding the long lines at the DMV is worth the price of implementation.

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Russell Nichols  |  Staff Writer