DETROIT -- Illinois has become the 21st state to connect dealers with its department of motor vehicles using a computerized vehicle registration system developed jointly by ADP Dealer Services and Reynolds and Reynolds Co.
It's rare that ADP and Reynolds, rivals in the dealer management system marketplace, cooperate on a project. But in 1992, the two largest vendors of dealership technology created a company called Computerized Vehicle Registration.
The joint-venture company created technology, called Centerpointe, that allows vehicle buyers to get their license plates and registration at the dealership.
The Computerized Vehicle Registration's goal: Obtain approval from 35 of the 50 states. The company currently is working with the states of Minnesota and New York to offer the service to dealerships in 2006.
"We've added six more states in just the last two years," says Randall Kobat, vice president of sales and operations for Computerized Vehicle Registration, based in La Palma, Calif.
Kobat expects Centerpointe to reach 35 states in three to five years.
Working with state legislators and each state's department of motor vehicles has been a slow and deliberate process.
Because computer systems vary by state, the company must integrate ADP and Reynolds dealership management systems to each state's department of motor vehicles.
Electronic vehicle registration enables dealerships to immediately register sold vehicles with their state's department of motor vehicles over a secure, high-speed network. Vehicle buyers have the convenience of driving off the lot with a fully-registered vehicle with permanent plates and stickers, Kobat says.
Participating dealers keep an inventory of license plates on hand.
Dealers charge a fee above their costs in certain states for each electronic transaction. For example, California dealers are allowed by law to charge their customers no more than $28 for the service. They typically make a profit of $15 to $18 per transaction, says Scott Herbers, general manager of Computerized Vehicle Registration.
The system also can be used by dealerships for used cars. Dealers can view a state's department of motor vehicles database to determine whether there is a lien on a used car, Kobat says. "This reduces dealership risk on trade-ins," he adds.
Computerized Vehicle Registration annually processes nearly 2 million vehicle transfers and 3.5 million secured departments of motor vehicles inquiries.
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