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System shortens tag wait
Office testing electronic plan

LAWRENCEVILLE - Customers waiting to register their cars can now sit while they wait, thanks to a pilot program at the Lawrenceville tag office.

The new electronic Customer Services Administration System is designed to reduce customer waiting time in the tag office lobby, according to a press release from Tax Commissioner Katherine Sherrington.

"It's been going very well," said Jim Marchand, tax commissioner spokesman. "A lot of times there is no backup at all, but when there is, its nice to be able to sit down. That's what we want is for customers to be a little more comfortable."

When customers enter the lobby at 750 Perry St., they encounter several touch-screen terminals. Based on the type of transaction they want to complete - tag renewal, title application, etc. - the system issues a numbered ticket.

Then customers can sit and wait until the number is announced on an electronic display. The customer is directed to the tag office agent who can most efficiently perform the transaction, the release said.

Earlier this week, an employee helped customers as they tested the new system.

According to Motor Vehicles Director Anthony Buffum, the office will evaluate two vendors' approach to customer service. A second pilot project will begin at the Norcross tag office on Indian Trail Road at Georgia Belle Court by early November.

"This is to see if this can be a benefit to the citizens and to see if we can meet the tax commissioner's goals," he said, adding that feedback has been positive so far.

During the 90-day trial, customers can give feedback by completing an online survey on the tax commissioner's Web site, www.GwinnettTaxCommissioner.com

Buffum said a permanent system, if the commissioner decides to purchase one, could be in place last next year.

With a cost of $30,000 to $56,000 for each branch, depending on the vendor, Buffum said the systems may not be established at all five tag offices. The first priority is the Norcross office, which has the highest volume, followed by the Lawrenceville office and the north Gwinnett office, which is near the Mall of Georgia.

For more information on tag and title services, and office hours or locations, call the tax commissioner's motor vehicles customer service line at 770-822-8818 or send an e-mail to tag@gwinnettcounty.com.