Greeters at Marooney Dodge in Pembroke Pines, Fla., ask each sales prospect permission to run his or her driver's license through a card swipe.
The driver's license scanner is part of a multimillion-dollar test by AutoNation Inc. to see if the giant dealership group can capture more customer information.
AutoNation Chairman Mike Jackson shared details of the pilot project with lenders attending the American Financial Services Association conference here.
The card swipe is one part of the program, which is called Dealer Suite.
The test is designed to see if AutoNation can keep tabs on sales prospects as they shop for a new vehicle. The system also follows customers after they make a purchase and return for service work.
Jackson says the new tools for auto dealerships are "eye-popping," and says car dealers for too long have played catch-up with other retailers in adopting technology.
Dealer Suite creates computer files on each sales prospect. The data can be shared by various departments within each dealership and among all AutoNation dealerships in the area.
For example, AutoNation stores in the same market will know if a sales prospect shops for a Dodge at one dealership and a Ford at another. The system also would track customers when they purchase cars from an AutoNation dealership and when they return for service.