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Illinois Official Promises Better Tech During DMV Visit

In his first public appearance outside Springfield, newly inaugurated Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias visited Bloomington's driver services facility Thursday to talk about tech upgrades.

DMV_Tickets
(TNS) — In his first public appearance outside Springfield, newly inaugurated Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias visited Bloomington's driver services facility Thursday.

Giannoulias, who succeeded Jesse White on Monday, visited the West Market Street facility to speak with staff and thank them for their hard work.

Giannoulias described the staff at the Bloomington facility as hardworking, smart and driven, "but they're also excited about new technology themselves."

He said Illinois' drivers facilities lag behind those in other states across the U.S. in terms of efficiency and technological access, "but we're going to catch up."

Some of the things Giannoulias plans to implement are digital IDs and driver's licenses, a "skip-the-line" program and possibly even driving simulators.

"Seventy-five percent of our backlog at the driver services facilities are because we have to take people out on the road," he said. "There's a way we can eliminate that."

Giannoulias emphasized that his relationship to Illinois residents is a customer service one.

"It is a retail operation, in our way of thinking about it," he said. "Just like any other customer service, we have to bring new technology in. We have to modernize. We have to move with the times.

"The world has changed. The way that people order food from an app, the way that people shop. We need to make government reflect how the private sector has moved from a retail perspective."

Giannoulias said it his office's goal is "to make it as efficient and easy as possible for people to access government services."

He said, "What it comes down to is, people don't want to wait in line, which is not surprising, and we feel strongly that modernization, new technology will help."

Giannoulias won the secretary of state seat over former Rep. Dan Brady (R-105) in the general election. Eschewing partisan divide, Giannoulias reached out to Brady, of Bloomington, to serve on the transition team as the office moves over from Jesse White, who had held the seat for 24 years.

"I think of it as public service," Giannoulias said. "I think it says a lot about Dan Brady that he would choose to (work with me). He's a friend."

In closing, Giannoulias reiterated his goal to be more visible.

"We're going to spend more time in Bloomington. I think it's representative of the whole state."

© 2023 The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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