Ice box: Vehicle Registration Office comments addressed

From June to September, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart received 256 Interactive Customer Evaluation comments on the Vehicle Registration Office. Only 55 percent of the comments were positive.

The overwhelming majority of these ICE comments focused on two topics: the long wait times and the shortage of staff in the Vehicle Registration Office.

The staff shortages were brought about by the unexpected resignation of the senior vehicle registration clerk just as the peak vehicle registration period was beginning. The influx of new personnel and their need to register their cars, coupled with the yearly registration renewals that occur during this same time frame, compounded the staff shortages.

The staff shortages and the increased volume of work magnified another issue with the Vehicle Registration Office: its computer network connectivity. The Vehicle Registration building does not have fiber optic connectivity like most of the office buildings on Panzer Kaserne. 

Garrison Commander Col. Carl Bird has made mitigation of the Vehicle Registration Office issues the main focus of improving service delivery within the garrison. So far, the short-term mitigation solutions have been to work with U.S. Army Europe Headquarters to cross-train some garrison employees so that they can assist in the Vehicle Registration Office, and to obtain funding to upgrade the network connection to fiber optic.

A number of long-term solutions are being developed. They include the hiring and training of staff for the office and, in order to readily augment the staff during the summer months, the establishment of a backup group of employees who are trained and certified on the Vehicle Registration computer system.

The garrison is also working with Installation Management Command Europe Region Headquarters and USAREUR on the feasibility of having our German hosts change the 12 month registration period to 15, so that the majority of renewals do not fall within the peak summer months. 

To help ease the registration bottleneck, customers should complete the vehicle registration renewal process as soon as they receive their notification. Normally, the notification comes approximately seventy-five days before the registration expiration date.

Completing the renewal process early does not shorten the registration time; the renewed registration will commence once the old registration expires, but customers may be able to avoid the office during peak periods.

The garrison is fully aware of the concerns that have been articulated through the ICE system and will improve the service received at this facility.