Recently, I joined other legislators on the Select Committee on Technology and Responsive Government for a hearing in Willmar to discuss the rollout of Minnesota’s new licensing system, MNLARS, and have been working on this issue since day one of the rollout. We’ve all heard about issues in the news and in the papers, but the firsthand accounts about the rollout were pretty astonishing. Some folks renewing their tabs were being charged the wrong price, some can't even complete their titling of a vehicle, and dealers can't resell used vehicles taken in on trade because of glitches.
When local registrars call the Department of Vehicle Services for help, they are met with a barrage of apologies, but no solutions. To handle the slowdowns associated with the faulty system, registrars have had to spend thousands of extra dollars just to try and overcome the failure of DVS. Many of these registrars are private businesses and are losing money hand over fist, but are staying open trying to salvage their business from a failing software system that they are required to use.
What we’re seeing is a system that in theory is a good advancement, but was rolled out before it was completed; it's an abject failure. The more we hear about the lack of communications to registrars, long lines, and frustrating glitches, the harder it is to understand why the state put an unfinished product in front of the public. As an IT guy, I can’t imagine why someone would implement a new system that is obviously faulty.
In the legislature, we’re listening to the voices affected by the poor rollout, and will be working with the state to find solutions. If you’ve experienced any difficulties with MNLARS, please contact me.
On Wednesday, I was fortunate to visit classrooms at Watertown Mayer Middle School. I always love talking to our students about our state government. These 7th graders were attentive and had some great questions. Thanks to Mr. Jepma for inviting me to spend time with your students!
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As always, please continue to call or email if you have any questions; I’m here to help and serve you.