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For Immediate Release 
July 10, 2001
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

Secretary of State’s Program Receives Civic.com Award
Civic 50 Award goes to Rapid Renewal for Online Vehicle Registration Service

In the July issue of Civic.com, the Department of the Secretary of State’s Rapid Renewal service has been named to the Civic 50 Awards list for its 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.”  This year the magazine stated that many of the entries sought to use technology to collaborate among agencies and “to improve the way government does business.” 

“We are delighted with this recognition and share it with the pilot municipalities who partnered with our Department and InforME to make this service a reality,” stated Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky.  “We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the citizens who have used the service and the municipal officials who have become our partners.”

“Rapid Renewal is a groundbreaking Internet service that moves Maine closer to the concept of e-government.  It is one of the first municipal and state government partnerships in the country to provide integrated e-commerce services online,” continued Secretary Gwadosky.

Citizens who have access to this service have been eager to use it.  During the first month the service was available, six percent of those eligible to use the service did for a total of 467 transactions.  In May over 1,000 renewals were processed over the Internet.   Twenty-five percent of those individuals who used Rapid Renewal have completed their transaction over the weekend or on a holiday. 

Rapid Renewal, an online service that allows for the renewal of a vehicle registration and payment of the municipal excise tax over the Internet, is sponsored by Secretary Gwadosky and was developed cooperatively by his department, InforME, the Information Resource of Maine and ten pilot municipalities. 

While starting out as a pilot program, Rapid Renewal is currently adding municipalities to this voluntary program with three additional municipalities joining in the past two months and five more towns expected to go online within the next few weeks.  Over 30 municipalities have expressed interest in joining the program since the Department of the Secretary of State opened up the program for municipal participation statewide.

Rapid Renewal is currently available in Bangor, Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, China, Corinna, Dover-Foxcroft, Hermon, Holden, Lewiston, Portland, Saco, South Portland, and Waterville.  To try a demonstration of Rapid Renewal visit www.sosonline.org

Civic.com is a print and Internet magazine for state and local government information technology professionals.  For additional information on Civic.com and the Civic 50 Awards visit www.civic.com.