For more information contact: Chad Urdahl 651-296-5520
Congratulations to the numerous area high school student-athletes and teams who qualified for state competition during the fall season. Best of luck to those participating in winter activities as that season begins.
Last month, I sent an email regarding the botched rollout of the new Minnesota License and Registration system. In it, I said accountability needs to be the order of the day and that, if the state isn’t up to the challenge, maybe third-party vendors should be brought on to get the system up and running.
The bad news is MNLARS is still a mess. The good news? The state has contracted with a private firm, FAST Enterprises, to develop the driver services portion of MNLARS that has been such a source of frustration in recent months. According to a news release issued by Minnesota IT Services, FAST Enterprises has successfully implemented driver and vehicle systems in 11 other states and “has a long history of providing high-quality, customer-focused IT development services to the state of Minnesota on-time and on-budget.”
In the name of full disclosure, I have a daughter who works for FAST Enterprises. This is pure coincidence and I was in no way, shape or form involved in the process of letting that contract. That said, I am pleased the state is finally turning to a company with a proven track record for delivering on jobs like this one. This is a much-needed breath of fresh air and it improves our state’s likelihood of having Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards available for Minnesotans by the federal government’s October 2018 deadline.
The news release issued by MNIT today reads, in part:
“In addition to successfully delivering similar driver’s license IT systems in 11 other states, FAST Enterprises has provided excellent services to the State of Minnesota for nearly a decade. For example, FAST Enterprises’ integrated tax processing solution, GenTax®, is currently used by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Minnesota began using the GenTax® program in 2008. The GenTax® system supports a variety of users and functions, including over 90 account types and taxes. The project was completed in multiple rollouts – every rollout for this project was delivered on-time, on-budget and delivered high-quality services for its users.
“The State’s contract with FAST Enterprises to develop and implement the new driver’s license IT system will cost $26 million, and be paid for with existing state resources for the development of the MNLARS project. To learn more about the State of Minnesota’s efforts to modernize the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS), and its partnership with FAST Enterprises, click here.”
This move is the latest in Minnesota’s efforts to bring its state IDs in compliance with increased federal standards being implemented in an attempt to increase public safety. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted Minnesota an extension until Oct. 10, 2018 to gain compliance.
Minnesotans do not need to take action as work continues on overhauling the state’s ID system. You may continue to board commercial airplanes and access federal facilities with your existing state ID.