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December 23, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Rapid Renewal Service Marks 2nd Year Anniversary
30% of Maine Citizens Can Now Renew Vehicle Registrations Online

As Rapid Renewal (www.sosonline.org), the Department of the Secretary of State's online service for renewal of motor vehicle registrations, marks its second anniversary, Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and the participating municipalities have much to celebrate. An Internet service that began in December 2000 as a pilot project with 10 municipalities, Rapid Renewal has grown to include 40 municipalities representing 30% of Maine's population. Another 28 municipalities are scheduled to offer this innovative service. This year alone, Rapid Renewal has processed nearly 17,000 online registration renewals.

"Rapid Renewal is a first-of-its-kind e-commerce service that allows citizens to conduct business with municipal government and state government in one seamless online transaction," stated Secretary Gwadosky. "Through Rapid Renewal citizens are able to renew their vehicle registrations and pay their municipal excise taxes, from the comfort of their homes or convenience of their offices. It's quick, easy, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As Internet access becomes increasingly common among citizens, government agencies are seeking to leverage this opportunity to provide enhanced services to citizens and create efficiencies in government. Rapid Renewal serves as a model of success."

Rapid Renewal was developed cooperatively by Secretary Gwadosky's department, ten pilot municipalities, and InforME, the Information Resource of Maine (www.maine.gov). The program was made available to all municipalities in 2001. Municipal participation in the program is voluntary for the 40 towns and cities currently online with the service. An additional 28 municipalities are scheduled to provide their citizens with this efficient and convenient service. Residents interested in bringing Rapid Renewal to their municipality should contact their local officials.

"As citizens are enthusiastically taking advantage of Rapid Renewal's convenience, municipalities are eagerly embracing the program," said Gwadosky. "The service is being offered by municipalities from York County to Aroostook County, with populations ranging from Caswell's 326 citizens to Portland's 64,249 citizens."

Rapid Renewal has many features that are beneficial to its users. For example, individuals who renew their registration online may request an e-mail reminder about their next year's registration. Additionally, for those who may spend the winter in a warmer climate or college students who may not be close to home, Rapid Renewal Service provides the convenience of mailing the registration and tags to a different address.

Civic.com has named the Rapid Renewal Service to the Civic 50 Awards list for Rapid Renewal's use of technology to provide government services in a more efficient manner. The annual awards were started by Civic.com in 2000 to "acknowledge innovative public information technology projects." The magazine stated that many of the entries sought to use technology to collaborate among agencies and "to improve the way government does business."

Citizen Comments* about Rapid Renewal Service

"It's wonderful and extremely user friendly!"

"I am at the library doing this…Thank you so much for this service…I am on vacation and thought that I would have to waste a day going home."

"I think this service is very well done… The clear directions make it easy to use."

"This service is incredibly convenient for out-of-state military personnel temporarily assigned away from home."

"I was very pleased at how easy it was to register online. Even with several interruptions from my toddler, I was done in 10 minutes!"

"I waited around two hours last time I registered. Hurray for Rapid Renewal!"

"This is terrific! Instead of spending half an hour in line over my lunch break, I could register my car in a matter of minutes at home. Thank you!"

"This is a most efficient process and very user-friendly. Thank you very much for this great convenience! All total it took me 10 minutes, and that includes gathering all the information needed."

"This program is excellent!!! What a pleasure to renew this way instead of taking a day off to sit down at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles and then over to the Town Hall. What an improvement!!"

"I just want to thank you for making what used to be a huge hassle into a simple straightforward task. It makes me feel good about the State of Maine that we are this on the ball."

"This service was fast and easy, I was remarkably surprised! Thank you for offering it! I registered my car on the weekend!"

*Actual quotes from e-mail comments received regarding Rapid Renewal Service.

Rapid Renewal Municipalities

Municipality

Credit Cards*

Electronic Checks*

Websites

Arundel

N

Y

N/A

Bangor

Y

Y

www.bgrme.com

Bowdoinham

N

Y

www.bowdoinham.com

Brewer

N

Y

www.brewerme.org

Brunswick

Y

Y

www.brunswickme.org

Cape Elizabeth

Y

Y

www.capeelizabeth.com

Caswell

N

Y

N/A

Chelsea

N

Y

N/A

China

Y

Y

N/A

Corinna

Y

Y

N/A

Dover-Foxcroft

Y

Y

www.dover-foxcroft.org

Fairfield

N

Y

N/A

Falmouth

Y

Y

www.town.falmouth.me.us

Farmington

Y

Y

N/A

Fort Kent

Y

Y

www.fortkent.org

Gorham

N

Y

www.gorham-me.org

Hermon

Y

Y

http://sitecrafter.hermon.net/townoffice/

Holden

Y

Y

www.holdenmaine.com

Jay

Y

Y

www.jay-maine.org

Lewiston

Y

N

www.ci.lewiston.me.us

Limestone

N

Y

N/A

Madison

N

Y

www.madison-maine.org

North Yarmouth

Y

Y

www.northyarmouth.govoffice.com

Norway

N

Y

N/A

Palermo

N

Y

N/A

Patten

N

Y

N/A

Phippsburg

N

Y

www.phippsburg.com

Portland

Y

N

www.ci.portland.me.us

Richmond

N

Y

http://richmondme.virtualtownhall.net/Public_Documents/

Saco

Y

N

www.sacomaine.org

Sangerville

N

Y

N/A

South Portland

Y

Y

www.southportland.org

Standish

N

Y

www.standish.org

Vassalboro

Y

Y

www.vassalboro.net

Waterville

Y

Y

www.ci.waterville.me.us

Wells

N

Y

www.wellstown.org

Westbrook

Y

Y

www.westbrookmaine.com

Windham

Y

Y

www.town.windham.me.us / www.windhamweb.com

Wiscasset

N

Y

N/A

Yarmouth

Y

Y

www.yarmouth.me.us

*A "Y" indicates that municipalities have opted to accept this payment method.

Rapid Renewal may be accessed through the municipal web sites listed above or by visiting www.sosonline.org.