Home Local News WAYNE’S WORLD: Goodwin balances DMV with family life

WAYNE’S WORLD: Goodwin balances DMV with family life

NCDMV Commissioner and Hamlet native Wayne Goodwin speaks with the RO's Christopher McDonald during an interview on May 2. Photo by NCDMV

Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has worn so many hats in his career, he should consider a sideline as a milliner.

George Wayne Goodwin has had quite a prestigious career in public service. After graduating from Richmond Senior High as Class of 1985 valedictorian (and class president), the Hamlet native was the recipient of the prestigious John Motley Morehead scholarship and the U.S. Senate/William Randolph Hearst Scholarship while matriculating at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he graduated with honors in 1989. Goodwin then graduated from the UNC-CH School of Law in 1992.

At the completion of law school, Goodwin chose to “hang out his shingle” in Rockingham where he practiced a variety of spheres in the practice of Law.

He says he has “long had a passion for public service” and has served the region and the state in multiple capacities.

Goodwin was elected to four terms in the N.C. House of Representatives, he was the state insurance commissioner for eight years, served as chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party and is the CEO of his own company, Seaboard Strategic Consulting.

He took on his current role in January of 2022.

Goodwin was in the region on Tuesday to visit the local DMV and license plate offices and to speak at a meeting of the Laurinburg Rotary Club.

“(Currently) I am driving around the state visiting driver’s license offices and license plate agencies, meeting with customers, and making sure they have a better experience,” Goodwin said in an interview before heading back to Raleigh.

Goodwin said he is determined to accomplish several goals that will improve the customer experience at both the drivers license and license tag agencies throughout the state.

“We need to hire more DMV employees to fill vacancies,” Goodwin said. “Whether in Richmond County or any other corner of the state, there’s been a 33% vacancy rate, and wherever there’s a vacancy at the DMV, that means more folks are having to wait in line or wait for services they would otherwise.”

Goodwin said that his office has announced initiatives that will allow for more walk-in options, that there will be a reduction of appointments to expand the number of customers which will allow for an increase in customer service.

“We’re introducing new technology and something which I believe you’ll hear even more about next week is we are instituting a new app you can use and you can determine the approximate wait time … for any driver’s license off anywhere in the state,” said Goodwin.

All of these new options for customer service comes from an understanding of how the DMV has come under scrutiny over the years.

“Everyone has a DMV experience that they want to forget,” said Goodwin. “Most people, when they think of the DMV, they don’t have a positive thought, and my job is to help counter that and to provide more ‘pain free’ experiences while still meeting the mission of the DMV.”

Goodwin and his staff are working towards one goal: satisfied customers.

“A lot of what we are doing in Raleigh is how to improve operations, how to increase staffing, how to enhance our modernization which includes new technologies, in other words, how to provide better customer service.”

Goodwin has had many experiences, from meeting presidents, foreign dignitaries, actors, authors and captains of industry. He’s held titles from the uppermost rungs of state government.

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However, he feels that the most important hat he wears is that of a father to daughter Madison and son Jackson.

Jackson, Wayne and Madison Goodwin. Contributed photo

“As the kids grew up, Melanie and I cherished our time with them and we tried our best to give them many experiences to better understand the world around them,” said Goodwin. “When we learned that Melanie was preparing to face what might and would prove to be her final year of treatments during her valiant cancer fight, we planned and enjoyed our last great, big adventure together: we traveled to Hawaii.”

Melanie Goodwin lost her battle to cancer in 2020.

Click here to read more about Melanie Goodwin.

“About six months into the pandemic, Melanie passed and the kids and I grew closer as we prepared for the memorial service and burial,” said Goodwin.

Goodwin said continuing to share family traditions has helped with the families healing.

“Those traditions,” said Goodwin, “are ways for the kids and me to strengthen our family and hug ourselves a little closer.

Daughter Madison will graduate in May with a degree in education from Appalachian and will continue working on her Master’s degree.

Son Jackson is a freshman in high school and has yet to determine his path, but Goodwin is sure he’ll make the best choice.

“He (Jackson) does not yet know what the future holds for him, but he’s contemplated everything from art and computer science to engineering and law.”

Like any good parent, Goodwin gushes when he speaks of his children.

“As Jackson works his way through high school and eventually goes to college and Madison fulfills her professional dream of teaching and perhaps one day cultivating a role in developing education policy, I look forward to watching them and growing prouder by the day of who they have become.”