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Contact: Motor Vehicle Administration
Office of Media Relations
Whitney Nichels,

MDOT MVA Receives Six Awards for Public Affairs, Technology and Community Service

Honors Include International Award for Excellence in Social Media

GLEN BURNIE, MD (September 21, 2020) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) has received multiple accolades from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) related to community outreach, communications and service. MDOT MVA was recognized with an International Award for social media and five Region 1 Public Affairs and Consumer Education (PACE) Awards – including honors for community service and technology innovation. AAMVA is a nonprofit that works to develop model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement and highway safety.

“I am so proud of MDOT MVA employees for always finding new ways to better serve Maryland residents,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “These awards represent the commitment of all our employees to provide the best customer service experience possible.”

AAMVA announced MDOT MVA as the winner of a Community Service Award for its 2019 Adopt-A-Pet event with Governor Larry Hogan. The event – held at the Annapolis branch office – gave customers the opportunity to visit the Anne Arundel County SPCA mobile bus before or after their branch visit to interact with puppies, cats, bunnies and other potential pets. Governor Hogan showed his support by visiting with customers – puppy in arms – to share his own positive experience with animal adoption. By the end of the day, two pets had been adopted into new families.

In the AAMVA Awards’ Writing category, MDOT MVA was honored for keynote remarks by former MDOT Secretary Pete Rahn at the unveiling of the new design of the Chesapeake Bay license plate. The plate, which grants a portion on its proceeds to the Chesapeake Bay Trust, is a popular choice among Maryland drivers, with 12% of households across the state reporting that they have at least one set of Bay Plates in the family. The unveiling of the new plate – the third iteration of the design – was the culmination of a process that engaged Maryland-based artists and incorporated input from thousands of Marylanders. More than 250 alternate designs were considered.

MDOT MVA's Highway Safety Office’s eye-catching educational brochure, “Speeding: The Real Cost,” won a Print and Electronic Publications Award. The pamphlet tells the story of a driver and the tragic consequences he faces as a result of speeding. The fictional account serves as a reminder that speeding is a choice that puts lives at stake. The brochures were distributed at several outreach events including BikeFest in Ocean City, Hollywood Casino’s MusicFest 2019 and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) events; and through partnerships with companies and organizations such as Montgomery Community College, Comcast and Cintas.

AAMVA’s Innovative Use of Technology Award praised MDOT MVA’s utilization of online tools to help Marylanders get REAL ID ready. In compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, Marylanders across the state have taken advantage of the REAL ID Document Guide and Look Up Tool on the MDOT MVA website to check their REAL ID status and make sure they are prepared before an appointment. These tools have simplified the process for many customers who were unsure what they would need to get their REAL ID. With the aid of these resources, MDOT MVA has helped more than 3.2 million residents – about 70% of Maryland drivers – become REAL ID compliant ahead of the October 1, 2021, deadline.

In both the Regional and  International award categories, MDOT MVA’s social media strategy across FacebookTwitter, and YouTube received a Website/Technology Award. A revamping of its social media approach in 2018 enabled MDOT MVA’s channels to become more focused and user-friendly. From December 2018 to December 2019, MDOT MVA produced 96 Facebook videos, amassing more than 110,000 views. That’s up from an average of three videos per year prior to the strategy change. Content has also become more relevant, thoughtful and engaging while maintaining an educational tone.

“These awards reflect the pride of our MDOT MVA team and their devotion to service, safety and innovation,” said MDOT Secretary Greg Slater. “Every employee at MDOT MVA is focused on providing the best customer experience possible, whether it’s an in-person appointment, online transaction or helping Marylanders prepare for REAL ID.”

The annual AAMVA Regional and International Conferences – where the awards are traditionally presented – were cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the impact of the work by this year’s nominees was still felt by the selection committee.

“Based on the outstanding submissions… it is clear that the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 have not deterred AAMVA and its members from doing what we are so good at, and that’s innovative solutions that make a difference to the customers we serve,” said AAMVA’s 2020 International Chairperson Whitney Brewster.

Founded in 1933, AAMVA serves North American motor vehicle and law enforcement agencies. The association’s mission – Safe Drivers, Safe Vehicles, Secure Identities, Saving Lives – guides its activities, resources and programs in driver licensing, vehicle titling and registration, motor carrier services, identity management and technology solutions. ​

For a full list of the 2020 winners and more information about the AAMVA Awards, click here.