DMV’s New Machines Let You Handle Car Registration at the Store

The DMV installed one of its DMV Now terminals at Superior Grocers in South L.A.  (Steven Cuevas/KQED)

Booze, banking, blockbuster movies. You can get just about anything at grocery stores these days. In Southern California, the capital of car culture, there's another item to choose from.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has unveiled self-service terminals in about a dozen grocery stores across Southern California. The terminals are in stores from L.A. to the San Fernando Valley.

Think ATM machine for vehicle registration.

“The DMV is always looking for options to provide customers with alternative and convenient ways to conduct their business,” says California DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez.

“That one-stop shop. You can get your movie, pick up your dinner and then also renew your vehicle registration.”

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DMV’s New Machines Let You Handle Car Registration at the Store

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Vons, Albertsons and Superior Grocers all signed on to the DMV Now program.

The Superior Grocers store in South L.A. that serves Compton, Watts and other South L.A. communities is bustling with customers on a recent weekday.

“We’re a very busy store,” says store director Al Jimenez.

He believes the big blue-and-yellow DMV kiosk installed last month could be a real boon for the area. The nearest DMV office is about 6 miles away.

He also hopes it’ll be good for business.

“The more traffic we can get in here, the better. Somebody comes in and gets their tags and (maybe) they get charcoal, they get ice, some sodas.”

Jimenez says it’s still a new concept for customers, but already the DMV Now terminal has gotten some mileage.

He recently assisted a Spanish-speaking customer with her registration (the terminals have information in English and Spanish). He says it was an easy and straightforward process not unlike your typical ATM or grocery store self-service transaction.

The DMV plans to roll out the self-service terminals in the Bay Area later this year and possibly expand the menu to include license renewals and other services.

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