>>> 2024-06-08 dmv.org (PDF)

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2024-06-09 05:30:04

The majority of US states have something called a "Department of Motor Vehicles," or DMV. Actually, the universality of the term "DMV" seems to be overstated. A more general term is "motor vehicle administrator," used for example by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators to address the inconsistent terminology.

Not happy with merely noting that I live in a state with an "MVD" rather than a "DMV," I did the kind of serious investigative journalism that you have come to expect from me. Of These Fifty United States plus six territories, I count 28 DMVs, 5 MVDs, 5 BMVs, 2 OMVs, 2 "Driver Services," and the remainder are hard to describe succinctly. In fact, there's a surprising amount of ambiguity across the board. A number of states don't seem to formally have an agency or division called the DMV, but nonetheless use the term "DMV" to describe something like the Office of Driver Licensing of the Department of Transportation.

Indeed, the very topic of where the motor vehicle administrator is found is interesting. Many exist within the Department of Transportation or Department of Revenue (which goes by different names depending on the state, such as DTR or DFA). Some states place driver's licensing within the Department of State. One of the more unusual cases is Oklahoma, which recently formed a new state agency for motor vehicle administration but with the goal of expanding to other state customer service functions... leaving it with the generic name of Service Oklahoma.

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