By Jason L. Austin, USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttembergApril 8, 2009
HEIDELBERG, Germany - The way vehicles owned by U.S. personnel are registered in Heidelberg will change beginning April 17.
The goal is to reduce the sometime four-hour wait to 20-25 minutes said Lt. Col. Anita Greenlee, director of emergency services, U.S. Army Garrison Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg.
To accomplish this herculean feat, the Field Registration Office will divide and conquer, opening a new location in the in- and out-processing building at the Community Support Center.
Just down the hall from Military Clothing and Sales, will be the Heidelberg Field Registration Office, which will handle all business the office located on the DPW compound across the street used to handle including weapons registration. In turn, the old office will handle renewals only.
Vehicles will still need to be inspected at the inspection point, but the business for initial registrations, de-registrations and transfers will take place in the new location.
The Field Registration Office will be located in room 230, building 3850, and is set up much like a bank, Greenlee said.
Customers will select the correct forms from a information area, and fill them out, a screener will review the paperwork before they queue for the counter. The customer will then wait in line to be helped at one of four stations, one of which is handicapped accessible to help retirees, wounded warrior and pregnant mothers, Greenlee said.
For those, due to duty requirements, or personal needs, can't wait in line to conduct their business, the FRO will offer eight scheduled appointments each day on a first come, first served basis.
They will also offer a drop-box service. Once the paperwork is completed, the customer can put it in an envelope, and drop it in the box. The staff will collect and process the paperwork at the end of the day, and send an e-mail to the customer when the action is complete, or when they can come to an appointment to complete their transaction.
Additionally, the FRO will be open two Saturday mornings each month - beginning in May - to better serve the community. The Saturday hours are designed to correspond to the Parent's Day Out service offered at the area Child, Youth and School Services, which are normally held on the first and third Saturday of each month, Greenlee said.
The idea to reduce wait time by opening a second office was adopted as a Lean Six Sigma project. Currently the project is in the improve phase, with the hopes that once they open they will continually improve wait times and provide better customer service. Once that has been established, Greenlee said they will enter the control phase, where they will maintain short wait times during even peak times.
She also said she hopes that customers begin using the Web site, www.hqusareur.army.mil/rmv, more to ensure they have all the proper documents before coming to either office, which would further reduce wait times.
(Editor's Note: Jason Austin writes for the USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg newspaper, the Herald Post.)