As we know, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been on the verge of mandating that all bulk mailers must use Full-Service IMb in order to continue to get discounted automation rates. Since the actual date of implementation is still not known, governments are scrambling to make sure they are ready for when that date is finally announced.

The world is changing faster and faster each day and to be able to keep up with the changes, we are seeing more and more governments working together so that they can utilize each other's resources. State agencies, counties, and municipalities are stepping out of their comfort zones by using outside the box thinking' in order to keep up with the pace of ever changing technology.

The State of Colorado's Motor Vehicle License Plate Renewal Program is a great example of a program that shows how governments are now working with each other as a resource, and a partner, in order to achieve a common goal!

The State of Colorado and 59 of the 64 counties have come together to solve the issue on how to make sure the license plate renewal cards that are mailed out each month by the counties are processed as Full-Service IMb. This was accomplished by working together, standardizing the process as much as they could, and being willing to try some new ideas on how renewal cards should be mailed out. With much discussion, the group came to the conclusion that it would be best to use the services of the State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Division of Central Services', Integrated Document Solutions (IDS) Print and Mail Operations as the centralized location for all processing of the renewal cards; and IDS is Full-Service IMb certified. In doing so, not only did they solve the Full-Service IMb issue, they ended up developing a much more efficient program that would not cause issues with the integrity of the program and actually elevate the service that they provide to their constituents by using innovative ideas. This was made possible by stepping outside of their comfort zones and into the world of outside the box thinking.'

The Background:
The Colorado Department of Revenue manages the Motor Vehicle License Plate Renewal Program. They work with the 64 counties each month to decide what renewal cards should be printed and mailed monthly. During this process, the counties would each receive a digital (PDF) print file produced by the Department of Revenue, including each of the cards that were to be mailed that month with all the barcodes, as well as any necessary paperwork that USPS needed. The counties would print and separate each of their cards, and once complete, they would have to sort and tray the cards before presenting to the USPS.
It is inconceivable in the amount of time that it took to process the cards between the Department of Revenue and the counties each month. The process they had in place was followed so that the counties would be able to be in compliance with the USPS and receive presort discounts. The issue that developed was when USPS made it clear that, in the near future, if any bulk mailer would like to continue to receive discounted postage, their mail must be processed as Full-Service IMb.

The challenges that were presented to the Department of Revenue and the counties to move to Full-Service IMb included:
· Each county must register with the USPS.
· Each county must learn to submit paperwork electronically to the USPS by using Mail.dat, Mail.xml, or Postal Wizard.
· They must obtain and use a Mailer ID for each county.
· Tray tags and pallet labels must meet IMb requirements for each county.
· Serial numbers must remain unique for 45 days for each county.
· USPS Education on what Full-Service IMb is for each county.
· Keep each counties budget from increasing.
· Department of Revenue training on USPS process and procedures for Full-Service IMb.
· Start-up costs could occur - (software, equipment, etc.).

After looking at what processes had to be developed between the Department of Revenue and the counties, it was decided they did not have the resources to ensure Full-Service IMb.

The Solution
The solution that the group decided on was to develop a strong partnership between the State of Colorado's Integrated Document Solutions (IDS), Colorado Department of Revenue, and all Colorado counties.

In order for a program to be developed that would help the Department of Revenue with getting the counties to Full-Service IMb compliance, the following objectives needed to be identified and in place:
· All counties must be willing to standardize their renewal cards to one format.
· All counties are willing to have one centralized location print and mail their renewal cards each month.
· Develop a process and procedures on how the program will work, having all counties and the State agree upon (standardized program for all counties).
· Leverage cost savings in printing, mail processing, and postage that can be shared with all counties.
· Develop a billing system that is completely transparent between the state and the counties.
· Training would be needed with each of the counties on the new processes and procedures working with IDS.
· Training with IDS on new process and procedures.
· Training with Department of Revenue on the new process and procedures.
· Develop the best format for sending variable data between the Department of Revenue and IDS.
· Develop an Address Quality Program for all the counties that will have NCOA, DPV, CASS, LACSLink and SuiteLink.
· Develop a process that will identify, from the Address Quality Program, good addresses that are formatted correctly, addresses that show moves within the county and moves away from the county, addresses that cannot be DPV or CASS and might be returned, addresses where P.O. Boxes were shut down with no forwarding address.
· Develop testing and quality control program each month as new counties are added.
· Be able to bring on a set number of counties each month until all are enrolled in the program.
· Use the Address Quality Program as a resource for best mailing practices.

It was agreed that all objectives would be used as the foundation for the new program by all the stakeholders. The Motor Vehicle License Plate Renewal Program (MVR) was implemented and in July 2013, the first four counties sent out their license plate renewal cards by having one data file sent to IDS for variable data printing. Once printing was completed, the renewal cards were rolled over to the mail side for processing. The Department of Revenue and IDS were able to bring 59 counties on board, beginning July 2013 through December 2013, so that they were ready for the January 2014 target date for Full-Service IMb, originally set by USPS.

The Results
· 59 out of the 64 counties are part of the new Motor Vehicle Renewal Program.
· The five counties that are not part of the program had already started working with individual private sector companies to process their mail.
· All 59 counties' renewal cards are processed as Full-Service IMb each month.
· All counties pay the same cost for printing and mail processing, no matter how big or small.
· All counties receive the same presort discounts.
· Counties no longer have full-time employee (FTE) hours that were dedicated to processing their renewal cards each month.
· Department of Revenue was able to free up some FTE hours that were dedicated to each county on all the processing they had to do on the front end.
· The counties developed a new process and are now able to identify individuals that have moved but still reside in that county. To help keep their county data records current, those individuals that have moved receive a slightly different type of card that encourages them to update their current address when paying for their new tags.
· The counties also now identify individuals that move away from their county each month. The counties do not mail a MVR card to them, instead, they notate the account of a NCOA move.
· The counties do not mail MVR cards that are identified as bad addresses. These are addresses that cannot be DPV, CASS, SuiteLink, LACSLink, plus any other elements in the address that would make it undeliverable as addressed.

Beginning in July 2013 and adding new counties each month:
· The Motor Vehicle License Renewal Program has processed 1,039,228 addresses through the Address Quality Program; the cost of running it through the program was $2078.46.
· Total renewal cards printed and mailed from July 2013 to January 2014 is 993,237.
· 45,991 total renewal cards were not mailed due to the State of Colorado's IDS Address Quality Program: bad addresses, moves outside the county, moves with no forwarding address, and closed P.O. Boxes.
· Average cost of renewal card that includes print, mail processing, and postage is $0.2905.
· 45,991 renewal cards that were not mailed x $0.2905 = $ 13,360.00 in savings the first 6 months.
· The overall savings as a group for the counties the last 6 months is $91,302.10.
· These savings are from Full-Service IMb presort discounts, cost savings from volume pricing, and increased efficiencies with how the cards are printed and mailed.

The Colorado Motor Vehicle License Renewal Program was developed with the assistance of front line government workers from the counties, the Department of Revenue, and IDS, not because they had to do this, but because they wanted to do it! Outside the box thinking in government is the new norm!

Mike Sexson is the Project Manager for State of Colorado/Integrated Document Solutions. He can be reached at