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Government is an information-intensive enterprise with a legal obligation to create and maintain huge volumes of public records. Motor vehicle records are a case in point. Paperwork problems exist in part because these records are caught up in processes that are often antiquated, slow, error prone, and expensive.

Document imaging and work flow management systems merge several technologies to convert paper documents to electronic images. They offer both operational and financial benefits. Document imaging systems, however, are expensive to implement, and they nearly always require extensive analysis, business process reengineering, and organizational change.

This first project of the Center for Technology in Government demonstrated document imaging and work flow solutions in a particular government application, the vehicle title operation at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The project was completed in 1993 and produced a prototype application of a portion of the title issuance operation at DMV. The project answered many technical, managerial, and organizational questions. The project also involved demonstrations and presentations to more than thirty-five other government agencies and generated important lessons about imaging and work flow.