- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2002

NORFOLK People once lined up for hours at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to have their paperwork processed by clerks Christie "Cat" Black and Pat Hannas.
But since they lost their jobs to budget cuts, the women will be the ones in line as part of a new business 2 DMV 4U that takes over the wait for those who want to avoid the hassle of obtaining title and registration.
"We're going to streamline the process," said Miss Black, of Virginia Beach, who spent 3 years with the DMV. "It's like bringing the DMV to your front door."
"With a smile," added Miss Hannas, also of Virginia Beach, who worked for the agency for five years and used to do title work for auto dealerships.
Miss Black came up with the idea a few months ago. She noticed that workers from auto dealerships, towing companies and financial institutions came in a lot to the Norfolk DMV branch where she and Miss Hannas worked.
"They're in there every single day, several times a day, waiting and waiting," Miss Black said. "It's a lot of time spent at the DMV when they could be out there selling a vehicle, or could have towed a couple cars."
Miss Black figured such companies would find it cost-effective to pay someone to go to the DMV for them.
She and Miss Hannas tossed around the idea; Miss Black even came up with the company name and ordered a sample plate emblazoned with it. They figured, though, that it was just a nice dream they would never have the time to try.
Then they lost their jobs. Their DMV office was one of 12 statewide closed this month as a result of state budget cuts to reconcile a shortfall approaching $2 billion.
"Now we have the time," Miss Black said. "We have nothing to lose."
Miss Black and Miss Hannas already have a few clients lined up, so to speak. They plan to introduce 2 DMV 4U on Friday. Their fees will vary per type of transaction, with a base price of $25.
Other potential customers include people who want help obtaining handicapped permits or transferring the title on a dead relative's car, self-employed people who might lose money standing in line or anyone who just wants to avoid going to the DMV and may not be interested in conducting transactions online, Miss Black and Miss Hannas said. The women will bring the proper forms to the client and proofread them, wait in line and bring back the results.
"I think it's a good idea that can go across the country," said Double J Motors owner Jerry H. Simpkins, who plans to employ the services of 2 DMV 4U. "When you go to DMV, it's anywhere from one to two hours having to wait."
Mantill Williams, a national spokesman for AAA in the District, said he had never heard of this kind of business.
"It does sound unique and inventive," Mr. Williams said, adding that AAA would be in favor of "anything that can help the consumer expedite and streamline the process of registering their vehicles."
Miss Hannas and Miss Black said they have come across one person in Hampton who handles one particular kind of DMV transaction, basically for towing companies. But they don't know of anyone who offers the full range of services they plan to offer.
"I've never heard of anybody else doing this," Miss Hannas said. "I don't know that there's anybody out there who's crazy enough to do this. To be honest, people hate to go to the DMV. Who would want to try to earn a paycheck out of that?"
For now, the women plan to focus on clients close to home, in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Chesapeake. But they could expand if they are successful.
"I enjoy doing this kind of work. I like title work. I've been dealing with DMV for years," Miss Hannas said. "Once you get it in your blood, it's there."

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