BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) – Governor Jim Justice announced in a press release on December 14 that West Virginia will be the first state in the county to digitize vehicle titles, as well as the process to acquire vehicle registrations.

Jenkins Subaru and Hyundai in Bridgeport was asked by the West Virginia automobile dealers association to be a “pilot dealer” for this new system. They have been using the digitized system for almost a year and have completely adapted to it, according to General Manager Matt Jenkins. He told a 12 News reporter, “It was tough at first beacuse we had, like, the old school system with the new system, and trying to get both of those to integrate. Now we’re 100% on the new system. We like it, it’s actually a lot simpler.”

Vehicle titles will be accessible and kept through the DMV’s online portal, which can be found in the app store on your smartphone. Any transactions needing to be done regarding titles and registration can be conducted at your fingertips.

After discussing the integration and how the dealership effectively switched to the new system, Jenkins explained the differences between both processes by saying, “So like before, if you need to get a duplicate title, you had to go to the DMV, wait in line and all that. Which took, not forever, but it was a pain, so then it back-locked. But now everything’s online, so literally we just do your paperwork here, we put a hard tack on your car here, your titles will be electronic. You don’t have to worry about duplicate titles, you don’t have to worry about where your titles at. It just really makes things easy.”

Jenkins said the DMV has a very old computer system that is difficult to find parts for, so they needed to find a new way for the process anyways. Most things nowadays can be done electronically; bills can be paid online, shopping is at your fingertips, and even buying insurance is now done online. Digitizing these titles helps vehicle dealerships, as well as the DMV, to do their job quicker. In the governor’s press release, he said this will also reduce the number of pieces of paper currently used by 4,000,000 per year and the vehicles that wait on titles by 1,000,000. This electronic process will significantly reduce the time that West Virginians spend in the DMV office processing transactions.

While change can be hard, and even a bit difficult to adjust to sometimes, Matt Jenkins said that it has been worth it to work with an easier system. He understands that people may feel the need to have their title in physical presence, but he said that there is a way to look it up in their system and that you really only need it to sell the vehicle. Overall, he is proud of the state and DMV for stepping up and making this change to eventually help make everyone’s jobs easier.

While only a couple of dealerships have already integrated this new system, the DMV will release more information in the 2023 year, regarding when citizens can expect to see these changes statewide.