The DMV, after having undergone several major changes in 2011, continued to improve upon and refine both our database system and our vehicle processing in 2012. Wait times for the vehicle owners continued to be low, even during the busiest times. Although the total number of vehicles licensed on playa has not risen much for the last several years, the volume of applications has grown every year, so the application review process continues to be very important.
Like every other department, art project and camp, the DMV was impacted by the ticket challenges. Most vehicle owners registered very early, in order to be considered for Directed Ticket Distribution (DDT) ticket allocation. Because of this, pre-playa review of applications progressed more rapidly this year. With more vehicle teams receiving early entry this year, on playa processing was busier on Saturday and Sunday pre-event than we’ve seen in past years.
In 2012, the Tech Team was able to complete the import of old records from our previous database to our new database, which means that we can access history on vehicles going back at least five years. We can utilize this past history to identify vehicles, and review prior vehicles associated with applicants. This can often be the determining factor on whether to invite a vehicle or not, especially when the application is in regards to a concept for a new vehicle.
One of desired results of the database redevelopment was to enable the Ranger Intercept Team and the Gate personnel to have better access and input into the Mutant Vehicle records. This year, the DMV developed training manuals for those groups, and stronger cross functional relationships were formed.
For the last several years, the DMV has received more and more complaints about Mutant Vehicle sound systems. In February, Burning Man published the first ever sound policy specifically directed at Mutant Vehicles.
This year it was important for us to get the policy out in front of the public, and reinforce the information during the application and licensing process. Feedback was good, but there is more work to be done.