The California DMV is about to digitize car titles and title transfers
This decision is made as part of a cooperation between the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the blockchain software company Tezos and the blockchain software company Oxhead Alpha. Oxhead Alpha announced a successful proof of concept on January 25.
Oxhead Alpha was contracted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to build on a private Tezos testnet that the DMV dubbed a “ghost book”. Its primary purpose is to serve as a blockchain-based copy of the agency’s existing database, which has been its primary purpose since its inception.
Ajay Gupta, chief digital officer for the California Department of Motor Vehicles, told Fortune on Jan. 26 that the department hopes to fix the shadow register issues within the next three months.
After that, it intends to roll out applications such as digital wallets to hold and transfer non-fungible token vehicle titles, with the DMV serving as a mediator to oversee these processes. In addition to this, it plans to deploy applications similar to the one described above.
According to an interview Gupta gave to Forbes, “the DMV’s reputation for being late is sure to change.”
Andrew Smith, president of Oxhead Alpha, said the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) blockchain program would serve a wide variety of use cases for the department, including addressing the agency’s current paper-based systems and their possible upgrade.
Smith gave many examples of fraudulent transactions, such as when auto salespeople withhold critical vehicle condition information in order to sell a defective or “lemon” vehicle to unwary buyers.
Smith pointed out that even though problematic cars in California have a special designation on their titles, dealers can easily move the vehicle to another state and hide the faulty designations by doing so.
Smith said it would be much easier to digitally monitor the true history of automobiles if blockchain-based record keeping was used, in addition to the possibility of other DMVs adopting the technology.
According to him, “it’s a pretty obvious use case” for having a permanent digital title, which is one of the benefits of having such a title.
Smith explained in the company’s January 25 release why Tezos was a good match for the DMV by stating that the blockchain “solves some of the very difficult blockchain challenges in an elegant way.” Smith was commenting on why Tezos was a good fit for the DMV.
“The combination of accountable consensus, on-chain governance and institutional-grade security makes Tezos an ideal platform for delivering production-ready solutions,” he added. “On Tezos, governance happens directly on the blockchain.”
The decision made by the California Department of Motor Vehicles is likely to be replicated by other state government agencies in the future. In May 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom of California issued an executive order to direct and investigate potential prospects for integrating blockchain technology with government institutions in the state.
The governor said “California is a global innovation powerhouse, and we are preparing the state to succeed with this new technology.” These include encouraging responsible innovation, protecting consumers and harnessing this technology for the benefit of the public.